Hungry Hungry Loggerheads

In our Giant Ocean Tank we currently have two species of sea turtles — green and loggerheads. Each species gets their own feeding station, and our loggerheads — Carolina and Retread — are fed at the bottom of the tank, in what we GOT divers call "turtle alley".  Each morning at 10:00 AM we feed them a specified amount of "squid tacos", our jargon for squid stuffed with fish, usually capelin.

Come along on a snapshot journey of a feeding I did just this week.

The squid tacos are prepared and put in red bags, one for each turtle.  Other tools needed are... 1 pair of gloves (for safety), 1 feeding stick and 1 rattle - a PVC pipe filled with nuts and bolts and capped on both ends to make it waterproof.

Then it's time to head underwater and down to the feeding station in "turtle alley".  As soon as I break the surface and look down, I see that both girls are awake and likely hungry.

As I descend to the bottom I begin shaking the rattle... while clearing my ears and staying aware of my surroundings.

Carolina is the first to arrive, and she looks hungry!  I continue to shake the PVC rattle.

I get my 2 red bags situated in the sand, ready to feed the turtles.

But oops, Carolina gets confused and goes the wrong direction.  I shake the rattle some more.

After a minute of her not understanding where she's supposed to go, I lend a hand and pull her in.

One squid taco for you!

Both sea turtles get vitamins along with their meal - I use my hands to guard the squid taco from getting stolen by a thieving fish.

Though as soon as I turn my head, an Atlantic spadefish swoops in and steals one of the capelin, argh!

Retread still hasn't shown up by the time Carolina has finished her meal, but I look up and see her above me so I head up in the water column to help her down to the feeding station.

Carolina doesn't think her meal is over though.  She gets in my face for more squid tacos please!

Retread is certainly hungry and she eats her whole meal.  She is completely blind so in order to feed her you must tap her on the chin and then present the taco in front of her mouth.  Sometimes, she'll just bite at the water hoping to snag something.

Success - feeding is over and I head back up to the surface... [Watch video of loggerhead feeding time here!]

...And wave at some kids on the way up of course.

As I said we feed our loggerheads daily at 10:00 AM, so for your next visit come early and look for us through the GOT windows on the first floor.


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