Decide the name of a baby sea turtle – and support ocean conservation at the same time – by voting in the “Name the Baby Sea Turtle” contest of The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
The Aquarium has narrowed the list of possible names for its new baby loggerhead sea turtle to a choice of five. The winning name is now up for vote.
Should it be:
• Eco? (as in ecology; pronounced ee-ko, not echo)
• Sounder? (a nod to Long Island Sound)
• or Shell Turtlestein?
Vote by going to www.nameourbabyseaturtle.org now through Dec. 17. Each vote will cost $1, with proceeds going to The Maritime Aquarium’s conservation efforts. The winning name will be announced during a Maritime Aquarium Facebook Live update on Dec. 20.
The turtle arrived in Norwalk Oct. 21 as a 3-inch-long stranded hatchling rescued by staff of The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. It will live in The Maritime Aquarium’s new “Sea Turtle Nursery” exhibit for a year, growing to “dinner-plate-size,” before being released into the Atlantic back in North Carolina next October.
It’s not known if the Aquarium’s turtle is male or female – and won’t be known before it is released – because gender doesn’t become identifiable in sea turtles until they are in their teens.
“During the year that this cute little turtle will be here, it’s going to be such a good ambassador for sea turtle conservation, by letting us share with guests the reasons that hatchling sea turtles sometimes don’t make it to the sea,” said Dave Sigworth, the Aquarium’s associate director of communications. “And this naming contest is a fun and simple way for folks to actually put a dollar to the cause, supporting the Aquarium’s participation in this baby-turtle loan program and other initiatives that support Long Island Sound and the oceans beyond.”
Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) live to 50 or more years, grow to weigh 250 to 300 pounds and are found around the globe in nine “distinct population segments.” Five of the populations are considered to be “Endangered,” and the other four – including the loggerheads off the U.S. Atlantic coast – are considered “Threatened.” Their biggest threats are from coastal development that destroys nesting habitats and from accidental capture in fishing gear.
See photos and videos of the baby loggerhead – and link to the voting page – and also learn about programs, holiday-season events and IMAX® movies, including the premiere of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” on Dec. 14, on the Aquarium website: www.maritimeaquarium.org.