Toledo Zoo welcomes new sea turtle just in time for the Aquarium - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Toledo Zoo welcomes new sea turtle just in time for the Aquarium's grand opening

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - An injured green sea turtle has found a new home at the Toledo Zoo just in time for the grand opening of the new Aquarium on Friday, March 27.

This sea turtle named Tink was found floating in the Indian River Lagoon in Florida back in June of 2013. He was then brought to SeaWorld in Orlando, FL for rehabilitation.

A PIT tag on Tink showed that he had been previously stranded as a cold stunned turtle and released in 2010. Following his rescue, other injuries not previously recorded were found. More troublesome was an old injury that while healing caused a malformation of the shell and limited mobility with the rear flippers, causing buoyancy issues. The cause of Tink's injuries is unknown, but was likely caused by a boat strike.

Turtles struck by boats are often left floating due to trapped air and damaged lungs, muscles, and nerves. Floating turtles are unable to submerge and remain at the water's surface, which can be dangerous. Weights have been attached to the rear of Tink's shell to aid in diving and submerging. Because of these permanent injuries Florida wildlife officials deemed Tink non-releasable, requiring human care to survive.

Most recently, Tink lived at the Turtle Hospital, a rehabilitation center for injured sea turtles located in Marathon, Florida Keys.

Tink now will reside permanently at the newly renovated Aquarium's Gulf of Mexico exhibit, which at over 27,000 gallons is the second largest exhibit in the Aquarium and one of the first visitors will see as they enter.

Serving as an ambassador Tink will assist in the Zoo's mission, inspiring hundreds of thousands of annual visitors to join in caring for animals and conserving the natural world.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources lists Tink's species as endangered. 

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