Maui Aquarium to Release Six Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles
The Maui Ocean Center is preparing to release six, 2-year-old Hawaiian green sea turtles by the end of August.
The turtles at Maui Ocean Center are provided by Sea Life Park Hawaiʻi through the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle Educational Loan Program. Since 1998, Maui Ocean Center has raised and released 60 green sea turtles.
The program aims to provide a safe, head-start for young hatchlings while serving as an educational resource for guests to learn about endangered Hawaiian green sea turtles.
The six turtles were hatched at Sea Life Park Hawaii on July 4, 2014 and were relocated to the Maui Ocean Center.
They were then named by Aquarium members and staff based on their personalities: Alaula (light of breaking dawn), Pa‘ani (playful), Makoa (brave, fearless), Ahonui (patient, enduring), Hila (shy, bashful, timid), and Akahai (gentle, docile).
“Every turtle release is a bittersweet moment for us,” said Head Aquarist Larissa Treese, “we’ve been a part of the turtles’ lives on a day-to-day basis since their arrival as hatchlings. They’re family to us and we couldn’t be happier to see them begin their next adventure in their natural habitat.”
Maui Ocean Center’s aquarists were joined by veterinarians Dr. Beth Doescher (Sea Life Park Hawaiʻi) and Dr. Paul McCurdy (Central Maui Animal Clinic) to conduct the turtles’ final checkup. Each turtle has been outfitted with a pair of Passive Integrated Transponder tags, allowing them to be identified as turtles that were released by Maui Ocean Center.
Following the turtle release, six, 1-year-old green sea turtles will move into the Turtle Lagoon exhibit. The Aquarium anticipates the arrival of new turtle hatchlings in the following months.