Our turtles have had some grand travels since their respective releases. Today, Bob, Pan, and Turbo have some exciting news for us! Let's hear more from Talitha Noble, Conservation Manager at the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation's Turtle Conservation Centre.
The turtles' journey so far:
It has been 231 days since Bob, the beloved green turtle, was released. We are so proud that Bob has travelled 11 209km, sent us 1 932 tracking transmissions, and swam through or past over half of South Africa's 42 Marine Protected Areas (MPA).
In the last months, we have come to expect Bob’s pattern of swimming smartly in the surface currents, leading to some interesting (and quite beautiful) twirls in the South Atlantic Ocean.
This has certainly not changed in recent weeks. As the currents shift and move, we have seen them moving closer to the Western Cape coastline. Bob, following these swirling currents, is now only 96 kilometres away from Cape Town! She is currently hanging out in 16°C water.
Bob is right on the edge of the continental shelf, following it in a northerly direction. The water here is 2 300 metres deep! But, if she were to move just slightly further east onto the shelf itself, the water depth would quickly become much shallower (to a couple of hundred meters!).
There is a lot of swell (about 3.5 metres high) in this part of the ocean, so Bob might be riding some cool waves, maybe with some dolphin friends?
It has been around 14 months since Pan was released! Pan is a juvenile loggerhead turtle who was rescued in 2019, and this is the first time that our team at the Turtle Conservation Centre has had insights into the behaviours and movements of a juvenile loggerhead. What an incredible opportunity!
Pan has not been travelling far, but rather meandering and hanging out in a radius about 100 kilometres wide. Clearly, he’s taking things at a chilled pace!
He is 250 kilometres off the coastline of the Namaqua National Park and just outside the boundary of the Namaqua National Park MPA.
Similar to the land beauty of the Namaqua flowers, this MPA has beautiful kelp forests, deep mussel beds, and West Coast rock lobster that it protects. This might very well be leading to some abundant food supply for Pan!
Since his release 14 months ago, our little Pan has travelled 9 792 kilometres and sent us 2 336 transmissions. We are so chuffed that we are getting the opportunity to track him for so long!
In the last 272 days at sea, we have received 972 transmissions from our feisty Turbo. He has travelled 4 500 kilometres – that’s just over three transmissions and about 16.5 kilometres per day!
Although he is following a different swimming pattern to Bob, Turbo is physically quite close to Bob right now! He is about 67 kilometres northeast of her, and therefore experiencing similar water temperature and swell.
When we last checked in with Turbo, he was about 80 kilometres off the coast of Lamberts Bay. In the last month, he has meandered down to Cape Point, staying within about 30 kilometres off the shore. This forms part of the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area (MPA), where vibrant reefs, incredible biodiversity, and majestic kelp forests are sure to keep Turbo entertained!
Turbo hung around the outer peninsula of Cape Point for a few days before heading back up towards the West Coast National Park (to see the flowers I am sure!).
Days since release: 231
Distance travelled: 11 209km
Nearest town: Cape Town
Water depth: 2 300m
Catch up on turtle tales
At the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation's Turtle Conservation Centre, we rescue, rehabilitate, and release turtles, each of which has a uniquely inspiring story.
If you missed out on any turtle tales, you can catch up here:
What happens during Cape gannet fieldwork on Bird Island, Lambert’s Bay?In October and November, Marine Wildlife Management Programme (MWMP) Assistant, Martine Viljoen, assisted the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and Environment (DFFE)’s Oceans and Coast team with the...
Hungry for more? Catch Feeding Times at the Aquarium!Have you ever wondered what and how we feed the incredible animals here at the Two Oceans Aquarium? Well, our daily Feeding Times are the perfect place to find out! One of the most popular activities ...
Everything our Marine Wildlife Management Team needs to disentangle Cape fur sealsThe Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation’s Marine Wildlife Management Programme (MWMP) regularly disentangles Cape fur seals in the V&A Waterfront precinct. Let's find out how!
Our birthday Trash Bash was the best yet!What better way to celebrate the Two Oceans Aquarium’s 28th birthday than with the last Trash Bash beach cleanup of 2023? On Saturday, 13 November, our incredible Aquarium family gathered on Muizenber...