Farewell to Yoshi the Logger Head Turtle at the Two Oceans Aquarium…

Last week the Two Oceans Aquarium celebrated their birthday and at the same time they had a fabulous event to celebrate the release of Yoshi the loggerhead turtle later this month…

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We were given an introduction to life of the little turtle rescues… that arrive in the rehabilitation centre exhausted and traumatised. They are cleaned up and their medical needs are attended to, they are put into quarantine for a time and observed. Rehabilitation includes keeping them active and thinking of creative things to feed them. They have in fact created a rooftop garden to support their resident turtle rescues. These little turtles stay at the aquarium for a time, until they are healthy enough to return home to the ocean. Life in the turtle hospital means lots of cleaning, to avoid cross contamination, and for biosecurity. The staff go to great lengths to collect data from the turtles. The turtles have unique personalities and almost all have their own unique injuries or problems that have brought them to the aquarium, that have to be attended to: Physio for the turtle that could only used two fins, a contrast study for the little one with a tummy ache, and even eye surgery when necessary. Top class treatment in a world renowned rehab centre…

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A number of awards were handed out on the night, but Yoshi simply stole the show. Yoshi’s story was shared: On how they never intended to have turtles in the aquarium, because their shells would scratch the tanks… but when a passing Fishing trawler got hold of them, Yoshi found a way. And that was way back in July 1997. When Yoshi arrived she was a young turtle, who weighed only 2 kilograms… and this month she will be leaving as a 182 kg adult turtle, whose favourite food is red bait.


It was a spectacular evening… there were cup cakes of course…


And everyone got to say their personal good bye…

There was a fabulous presentation by Dr. George Hughes, on Loggerhead conservation in Natal and turtles in general, but all eyes were on Yoshi…


Who was thrilled to have visitors long after bedtime…

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Se7en+1 Amazing Turtle Facts

  1. Cleopatra lined her bath with turtle shell.
  2. They have an incredible send of direction. A turtle dropped off the coast of Madagascar, sat for 24 hours and got her bearings. Then she headed straight for South Africa and turned directly north to her feeding grounds 5 000km away and ate nothing on her way there, just swam there directly.
  3. At one time, South Africa gave Cosi Bay to Swaziland, in a political move, which left the turtles unprotected. The conservation team had to move 25 000 turtles eggs to safety each night. They eggs have to be moved within twelve ours of laying or else the yolk detached and they die.
  4. Leatherbacks are deep divers, so they have soft shells, to cope with the pressure at about 1.4km.
  5. It is believed that the Melanesians discovered the Pacific Ocean by following migrating turtles.
  6. In Reunion, a turtle farm has been turned into a conservation centre called Kelonia, it is well worth a visit. Every school child in the country has to visit there… and they sing their turtles into the sea.
  7. It takes 65 days for the eggs to hatch and will die almost immediately on the hot sand, so they have to hatch at night. They are photo tactile so they head for the white foam.
  8. They can sleep underwater for up to three months.

Farewell to Yoshi

Huge thank you to the Two Oceans Aquarium for the invitation to this event. This is not a sponsored post and all opinions expressed are my own.

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