Monday, July 27, 2015

Hashtagging Winner of the Week!

Every week, we're picking a lucky winner to feature on our homepage as part of our #TurtleRescueTeam hashtag contest. To enter, simply post a picture of a turtle or show us what you do to help turtles (HINT: use reusable water bottles!) on Twitter or Instagram and include #TurtleRescueTeam in your caption! 

Congratulations to this week's winner, @AutumnOwlKate! We love this beautiful image of her family gazing at the oldest member of our Giant Ocean Tank family—Myrtle.

Last week @kapnrose won after posting this collage on Instagram. What spoke to us about this entry is that she has taken steps to protect turtles around the world. She even has fancy latin names for green and loggerhead sea turtles in her caption.

If you want in on this fun, be sure to post pictures to Instagram, Twitter or Tumblr and use our #TurtleRescueTeam hashtag. Learn more about the contest here. Thanks to everyone who's submitted so far. Keep up the great work, humans!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Get ready for the Wharf Festival!

Join the Aquarium and Boston Harbor Cruises for a day of family fun at the second annual Wharf Festival, located on Boston’s Long Wharf.

Saturday, August 15
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

In celebration of Summer on the Waterfront, we're teaming up with our friends at BHC to give you a day the family won’t want to miss. Wharf Festival is sure to provide plenty to do for the entire family. There will be lots of outdoor activities, including carnival games, Aquarium costumes, face painting and more. Plus, Magic 106.7 will supply the tunes, Faneuil Hall Marketplace will bring some lively entertainment and the Freedom Trail Foundation Pirates and Patriots Tours’ 18th century-costumed guides will add some arrrrrr to the event! Check back to find more details as we get closer to the event—we have some surprises up our sleeves!

Look for our booths where you can learn all about ocean animals.

Activities include touching whale bones!

All the Wharf Fest activities will take place on Long Wharf and are free and open to the public. (NOTE: Aquarium admission and whale watch tickets are not included.)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Helping Turtles In His Spare Time

The Aquarium's head veterinarian, Charles Innis, VMD, is undoubtedly a friend to turtles everywhere.

Dr. Innis looks on during treatment of a cold-stunned sea turtle | Photo: Esther Horvath

Not only does he treat the resident turtles at the Aquarium—both fresh and saltwater varieties—but he volunteers his skills helping local wild turtles in need of emergency care (often snappers that suffer unfortunately run-ins with cars) and cold-stunned sea turtles that end up in treatment by the Aquarium's Rescue Team at our Animal Care Center in Quincy. [Want to see what treating hypothermic sea turtles is all about? Check out our Turtle Rescue Team exhibit this summer!]

Baby Sulawesi forest turtle hatched by Dr. Innis

Fortunately, local turtles aren't the only species to benefit from his expertise and knowledge. At home, in terrariums far from the hustle and bustle of Central Wharf, Dr. Innis raises and rears critically endangered Sulawesi forest turtles (Leucocephalon yuwonoi). In fact, the first known captive hatching of this species happened in his care in 2003. He went on to hatch several more over the years, with his experiences helping to inform a slow but steady improvement of egg fertility, hatching and rearing successes among several private facilities and zoological institutions.

Another youngster hatched by Dr. Innis

This semi-aquatic species has been decimated in the wild by the live animal trade, with hundreds being captured and sold as pets or for food in recent years. Since they are endemic to the Sulawesi island of Indonesia, it is important to learn how to successfully breed this species in captivity as we work to protect wild populations.

Adult Sulawesi forest turtle (Leucocephalon yuwonoi) | Photo via Turtle Conservancy

Dr. Innis is doing his part, in his own time, to help this vulnerable species. Just recently, he was called to the other side of the world to help another critically endangered turtle species after thousands of Philippine forest sick and injured turtles confiscated from a warehouse in the Philippines. Stay tuned for more on Dr. Innis' efforts to help during this crisis of unprecedented proportions.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Hashtagging fun and prizes!

Share your pictures with the #TurtleRescueTeam hashtag on Twitter or Instagram and then follow the instructions to enter to win cool prizes, like...

Free passes for Aquarium admission 
Reusable grocery totes and water bottles
A chance to see your picture on our home page
Even a Meet Myrtle animal encounter!

Here's how it's done:
  • Head to Twitter or Instagram and post a picture.
  • In your caption, include the hashtag phrase #TurtleRescueTeam
  • Follow the instructions to "claim" your photo and look for it to appear on our #TurtleRescueTeam gallery
We'll be choosing our favorites to win those spiffy prizes. Just be sure your account is public so that we can see your submission. And don't forget to "claim" your photo so we can find you if you win. Check out this week's winners.

See your picture here on our contest gallery!

So what kind of pictures are we looking for? It could be a selfie with Myrtle at the Aquarium, or even with her mug on the ads around town. It could be your family enjoying our newest exhibit. It could you at the beach (or anywhere) with a reusable water bottle or grocery tote—because reusing those items can help turtles! Or maybe you rescued a turtle from the street by helping it cross the road. You see, turtle rescuers come in all walks of life, shapes and sizes. We can't wait to see what you post!

Check out some of the recent submissions:

Yes! This pic of a visitor exploring our newest exhibit appears on our #TurtleRescueTeam gallery
and @khnew is entered to win cool swag—including a grand prize of a Meet Myrtle program!
@neallk shared this turtle-y awesome pic from a recent visit with #TurtleRescueTeam.
You bet they're entered to win turtle swag!
@mmdill carefully helped this turtle cross the road.
Yup, they're entered to win cool stuff through our #TurtleRescueTeam hashtagging fun!

Whoa, that's a big turtle in that last pic. Time for a PSA! Here are some handy tips to keep in mind if you find a wild turtle from our top turtle expert, Dr. Charles Innis, head veterinarian at the Aquarium:
  • If you see a turtle on a quiet road, stop and let it cross—but only if it’s safe for you! Turtles move about to find mates and lay eggs. Our roads interrupt those journeys.
  • Gently move the turtle to the side of the road by holding the sides of its shell near the tail. Be careful, some turtles can bite! Be sure to wash your hands afterward.
  • Never transport turtles to a different habitat or distant locations. You could be spreading disease and removing a breeding adult from its population.
  • Do not release pet turtles into the wild. They also carry disease and non-native species can out-compete our local species. Call your local pet shop if you need help. 
  • Advocate for habitat protection. Turtles live a long time and often return to the same places to breed and lay eggs. Protecting their swamps mean many more generations of turtles can thrive.

Need more turtle to start your summer? Of course you do! Plan a visit to the Aquarium to explore our new exhibit. You'll also learn how communities are coming together to protect turtle habitats and get a glimpse at some of our greatest turtle rescue success stories.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Aquarium rescuers honored at Fenway!

After treating a record number of hypothermic sea turtles last fall (733 to be exact), the Aquarium's sea turtle rescue team took to the field at Fenway Park last night to be honored during a pre-game ceremony. Here are a few pictures from this exciting event!

The team, including Midas the sea turtle, Teri Davidson from Marketing (2nd from right)
and Aquarium CEO Nigella Hillgarth (far right)

Katie and Adam, all smiles.
A little mascot love between Wally and Midas

On the jumbo tron!

The team!

Thank you Boston Red Sox for having us! It was quite an honor, and quite a game (even though we didn't get the outcome we wanted in extra innings—Go Sox!).