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Tracking Bob: Our tribe of traveling turtles

By Talitha Noble-Trull and Laura du Toit
- Bob, Turtles, Foundation, Blog
Tracking Bob: Our tribe of traveling turtles

Bob has had big news since we last caught up: She's a girl! And, more big news: A few of our released turtles have racked up an impressive 17 360km of sea swimming! Let's hear more about Bob, Pan, Litchi, and Turbo from Talitha Noble, Conservation Manager at the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation.

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Bob's journey so far:

Update #12: 23 May 2023, by Talitha Noble

We're catching up with four magnificent turtles who, over 1 063 days, have racked up 17 360 kilometres of sea swimming. Let's pop in and see how they're doing...


Our smart-swimming Bob is in a similar situation to where we last left her – doing loops in the surface currents of the Atlantic.

Bob is still showing off her savvy swimming strategy by conserving energy and letting the currents guide her in loops! Currently, she is hanging out in waters 5 000 metres deep, at a temperature of 19°C.

It has been 116 days since Bob was released and she has swum an impressive 5 900 kilometres in that time! We are very impressed with Bob's adventures thus far and happy that she's remembered to keep it laid back.

Now that it has been confirmed that Bob is female, we have hopes for her part in creating new generations of green turtles. There’s a chance she will be spotted on the beach when she nests one day, and we will be able to continue our journey with her – maybe even retag her! The idea of lots of little Bobbies in the world is an exciting one!



Pan is our special young loggerhead who was released with his mates almost a year ago (7 July 2022). He has done some remarkable Atlantic Ocean missioning in the last 316 days…

Pan spent the second half of 2022 swimming westward in the Atlantic Ocean. At his furthest point, he was about 1 200 kilometres offshore from South Africa! But, 2023 has been the year for enjoying the West Coast and Pan has stayed relatively coastal since March.

There aren't many strong surface currents in this area and the water is a bit cooler (16°C), so I imagine that food must be a strong motivator for his movements. To date, Pan has travelled 6 500 kilometres - an impressive distance for a young turtle to cover in under a year!



Litchi is our De Hoop turtle – she just can’t get enough of the De Hoop Marine Protected Area (MPA).

After her release in January last year (27 Jan 2022), Litchi spent a little time around the Cape coast before heading to her De Hoop haven. The last 445 days and 1 910 kilometres have been spent in the beautiful coastal waters of the De Hoop MPA. This MPA is full of abundant life and a hotspot of marine biodiversity. Surely, Litchi is making lots of friends in De Hoop!

We love how much Litchi loves De Hoop and are excited about all the cool stuff that is happening in this epic spot. You should definitely stay tuned because Litchi is going to be joined by some fellow adventurers in the very near future!



Our zooty, powerful little Turbo has been actively exploring the western coastline of South Africa in his 158 days at sea.

After his release on 12 December 2022, Turbo moved northward, alternating his time between coastal waters and areas slightly further out at sea (his furthest was 340 kilometres offshore). The northernmost point Turbo reached was Hondeklipbaai before slowly heading back down the coastline. Since December, he has missioned 3 050 kilometres!

Turbo spent a good amount of the last month in the coastal Cape Peninsula waters. He is currently enjoying waters that are 1000 metres deep and 18°C. A big thank you goes to GREENFISH, who sponsored Turbo’s tag!


We are thrilled to see the progress of our beloved Bob, Pan, Litchi, and Turbo. While very different, each turtle is making progress in their own, distinct way. In doing so, they're also teaching us an enormous amount about their lives and behaviour patterns. We can't wait to see what they get up to next!

Where will Bob venture? Will she continue to make loops in the Atlantic Ocean? And what about Turbo, Litchi, and Pan? What will their next adventures be? 

Keep an eye out for more turtle updates, and remember to subscribe to our turtle update mailer...

Bob stats:

Days since release: 116

Distance travelled: 5 900km

Nearest town: Cape Town!!

Water depth: 5 000m

Water temperature: 19°C

Catch up on Bob's story

During his eight years at the Two Oceans Aquarium, Bob inspired hundreds of thousands of people to love the ocean and its abundant life just that little bit more. Now that Bob has returned to the ocean, he'll continue to be an incredible turtle storyteller as he sends back data about his adventures. Meanwhile, we'll do what we can to protect his ocean home.

If you missed out on any part of Bob's story, you can catch up here:

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