Two, tiny loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings have new names and will soon have a new home.
These newest conservation ambassadors for North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher are named Aleta, pronounced A-leta, which means “flipper” and Pico, pronounced Pee-koh, which means “beak” in Spanish.
Students picked the names for the two hatchlings that will make their debut at the aquarium.
The students represent classrooms in Fort Fisher aquarium’s Adopt-a-Turtle program. By adopting a sea turtle, students receive monthly updates with information including the animal’s weight and length. Each class receives a certificate of participation. The aquarium shares photos with the students as the turtles grow.
“Inspiring students in conservation is a priority for the Aquarium. Through the Adopt-a-Turtle program, we ensure that the students are truly engaged and learning about the sea turtle hatchlings from the beginning and that includes naming them,” Gail Lemiec, aquarium’s unique experiences coordinator, said in a release.
The aquarium collaborates with local sea turtle protection organizations to take in two hatchlings each year that did not make the initial trek to the ocean.
The nonprofit Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project volunteers rescued these hatchlings from a nest excavation on Kure Beach. Now under the care of Fort Fisher’s aquarist team, the two turtles will soon be in the loggerhead conservation habitat at the aquarium.
The hatchlings will make their public debut after the aquarium team bids farewell to the yearlings, Pip and Scout who have been with the aquarium since September 2022. That farewell is to be announced on Facebook and Instagram.