This past weekend my family and I were treated to a behind the scenes look at the newest sea member of the Sea Life Aquarium here in Arizona. The aquarium recently “adopted” a green sea turtle by the name of Ziva who was rescued in Florida. We were met by the bodacious and bubbly Kelly who is the marketing coordinator who graciously welcomed our extra stowaway for the trip, my father-in-law who is staying with us, and courteously whisked us into the children’s play area. Only moments later were we greeted yet again by a most upbeat member of the Sea Life staff who escorted us to our viewing room to learn about Ziva and her arrival to the aquarium.
We were split into groups as we were guided to the tank where we could look in on Ziva as she swam and swam around waiting to be released into her new habitat to swim free of human harm and predatory actions. You see the sea turtle is a often harmed by boats propeller’s, as is Ziva’s case, and fishing nets and lines. Additionally, littering of plastic grocery bags also mimic jellyfish which are a delicacy for sea turtles. The turtles will choke on the bags due to the floating, translucent bags appearing to be a jellyfish.
Once guided into the tank area we scaled the steps to the top of the tank on the catwalk and peered in to take a good look at Ziva. She is adorable! I wanted to touch her as her skin was very silky smooth looking and her poor shell had some extra “upgrades” to help her swim. Due to her incident with a boat, she experienced a collapsed lung which results in a bouie effect making swimming a daunting task for the little turtle. But she paddled around while everyone looked in on her.
Then the moment finally arrived after everyone received their turn to view the young sea turtle where she was set free into the giant tank to swim about with her fellow aquatic kin.
My kids had a blast, all the interactive games, displays for touch and feel, the learning kiosks, stations, and exhibits to stop and learn about all the fun aquatic life in the sea. My father in law also enjoyed himself, bless his heart for tagging along, we wereÂ highlyÂ informed by Dirk the aquaticÂ curatorÂ who told us about sea turtles, how long they live and how big they get. Such a blast to learn about this amazing creature at the aquarium.
This is the second Sea Life Aquarium the kids have visited. In 2010 we visited the Carlsbad, CA aquarium location attached to Lego Land where the kids saw the sharks that they saw here in Tempe and they were able to touch real sea life such as sea sponges and sea stars to feel the different textures and appreciate all that the Sea Life Aquariums have to offer with sea life conservation and environmental awareness.
Have you visited either aquariums or a local aquarium in your area? What are your kids favorite animals when visitingÂ local attractions and exhibits such as these?