MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Sea turtles nest and hatch on our South Florida beaches. They are a protected species, but do get injured sometimes, needing rescue and rehabilitation. And some are rescued and released more than one, or two times, including Miko, a loggerhead turtle who recently became a permanent resident at the Frost Science Aquarium.
Jacob Rosner is one of the staff members caring for her and says she’s getting along swimmingly.
“Miko’s been here for about two months now. She has adjusted extremely well to life in the community. Our biggest challenge was trying to get her used to a large exhibit where other animals are trying to get the same food as her.”
It is not uncommon for turtles to get into trouble in the wild and suffer injuries, but this young lady here is a “three peat,” said Rosner. “She tended to go after fishing line, so she was actually rescued three separate times and put through rehabilitation for fishing hook injuries fishing line injuries. After that third time she was deemed not releasable.”
Sea turtles do have the capacity to be trained, and Miko has learned to respond to a “dinner bell” of sorts.
“She’s able to detect the sound that signals that it’s feeding time anywhere in the exhibit, and turtles can move pretty quick when they have some good motivation,” explained Rosner.
Miko has a great big tank to enjoy with plenty of other marine life, and no threats.
“A big turtle like Miko is not something the sharks want to risk themselves by dealing with,” said Rosner.
Miko is likely in her early 20s and could live to her late 60s. For the aquarium visitors she is quite the attraction.
“We are excited to have her, she’s an incredibly charismatic turtle, you see her interacting with guests from these windows. When she surfaces to take breaths everybody loves her.”
Miko came to the Frost Science by way of the Gulfarium in the Florida panhandle. Their folks rescued and released her all three times.
You can learn more about Miko and the other sea creatures by visiting the website at www.frostscience.org.