Sea Turtles: Ancient Survivors
Fittingly, this exhibit features Hang Tough, a blind green turtle. Hang Tough is:
Sea turtles outlived their contemporaries, the dinosaurs, but they need our help against modern threats. Our exhibit, Sea Turtles: Ancient Survivors, tells all about the traits that helped sea turtles triumph in the past. It also describes the trials they face today from hunters, from the loss of nesting beaches and from run-ins with fishing gear.
- A green turtle (Chelonia mydas)
- Hang Tough came to Mote in 1992 with a serious head wound and a fishing hook in one eye. The head wound severed one of his optical nerves, causing blindness in one eye; the fishing hook injury blinded his other eye.
- Though blind, Hang Tough is now thriving in a floor-to-ceiling viewing tank in the new exhibit made possible by Mote Volunteer Penelope Kingman in honor of Barry J. Kingman. Hang Tough is thriving here because of the many hours Mote animal care experts have spent working to make him comfortable with the move.
- Because Hang Tough is blind, state officials determined that the turtle would be better off living at Mote rather than being returned to the wild. Having Hang Tough at Mote Aquarium allows us the opportunity to educate visitors about the issues turtles face in the wild.
In addition to providing a public Aquarium where people can learn more about sea life, Mote also rescues and rehabilitates stranded, injured and sick sea turtles. Mote also has a thriving Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program that has monitored sea turtle nesting since 1982. Our staff and volunteers monitor 35 miles of nesting beaches every day of nesting season between May 1 and October 31. Mote researchers also use satellites to track nesting sea turtles and even some sea turtles that have been rehabilitated at Mote's hospital. Through these tags, researchers have been able to follow turtles on their seafaring journeys.
>Want to help sea turtles? Adopt one now.
- Hang Tough's home holds approximately 18,000 gallons of water
- Its teardrop shape allows staff access to service the the exhibit's inside and provide care to Hang Tough
- The habitat uses mechanical and biological filters
- It's heated and cooled to maintain a 78-to-82-degree F temperature
Thanks to a new grant from the Sea Turtle Grants Program, Mote Aquarium is expanding our sea turtle exhibits to include more information on sea turtle nesting and conservation. The Sea Turtle Grants Program is funded from proceeds from the sale of the Florida Sea Turtle License Plate. Learn more at www.helpingseaturtles.org
Mote Marine Laboratory has been a leader in marine research since it was founded in 1955. Today, we incorporate public outreach as a key part of our mission. Mote is an independent nonprofit organization and has seven centers for marine research, the public Mote Aquarium and an Education Division specializing in public programs for all ages.