Turtles get prime place at Newport Aquarium

Feb 18, 2014

Visitors to the Newport Aquarium's Turtle Canyon, set to open March 22, won't have any trouble seeing the exhibit's star, Bravo.

Bravo is the largest turtle in the Midwest, weighing in at 600 pounds. The Galapágos tortoise was hatched April 19, 1929 on the Ecuadorian island of Santa Cruz. In the next few weeks Bravo will arrive by truck and the aquarium will use a crane to get him inside.

Bravo will join Thunder, the oldest resident at Newport Aquarium at more than 100 years of age. Thunder is a 118 pound alligator snapping turtle.

This isn't Bravo, but here is a video of the Galápagos tortoise from the BBC's Life in Cold Blood documentary series:

Denver, a 200 pound loggerhead sea turtle serves, as the aquarium's ambassador to its sea turtle conservation efforts. Denver will continue to swim the waters of the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit.

Turtle Canyon will feature more than 14 species from three continents and be housed in the renovated Rainforest exhibit.

One of the smaller turtles on display, a loggerhead sea turtle, was hatched in August in Emerald Isle, North Carolina. The plan is to teach the turtle to swim and to forage for food. Eventually it will be released back into the wild.