Tuesday, October 18, 2011

MerriElizabeth’s Sea Turtle Birthday Celebration!

Appropriately adorned in a sea turtle dress and barrettes, a very special 2-year-old girl named MerriElizabeth visited the Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital on October 9th bearing a wonderful gift for our sea turtle patients. MerriElizabeth had just celebrated her second birthday and in lieu of toys, her family and friends chose to honor her by aiding the sick and injured turtles in our hospital. In all, MerriElizabeth raised more than $550 and is now a proud Stranded Sea Turtle Adoptive Parent!

Clutching Trevor (her stuffed sea turtle), MerriElizabeth explored the hospital and was drawn to the turtles swimming in their tanks. Thanks to the tank windows, she was able to get face-to-face with Barrington, our juvenile loggerhead who underwent brain surgery last July and seemed to be one of her favorites.

Children who visit the hospital are always amazed at the anatomical similarities between sea turtles and humans. Our preserved sea turtle carapace, which clearly shows how the rib bones have been modified in turtles to produce the shell, elicited a huge smile from this bright little birthday girl!

Ever the charmer, MerriElizabeth set aside her fish crackers long enough give me a beautifully executed high-five and show me how to say “thank you” in sign language on her way out to enjoy Charleston’s beautiful fall weather. I’d like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” and flipper hugs to MerriElizabeth and to everyone who helped make her second birthday such a memorable event!

Christi Hughes
Sea Turtle Biologist