Last Saturday morning, we headed down to the 2 Oceans Aquarium for an exclusive members only event to say goodbye to The Queen Of The Aquarium.
After more than 20 years wowing visitors to the Aquarium since arriving in Cape Town as by catch on a Japanese trawler, Yoshi the Loggerhead Turtle is about to be released. She’s grown from the size of a dinner plate when she arrived to a 187kg behemoth today. She’s 25 years old now and ready to go and see the big wide world, meet a handsome Mr Turtle and hopefully contribute to the numbers of Loggerhead Turtles worldwide. She’ll be satellite tracked for up to 3 years, so we’ll still know where she is and what she’s up to for a while yet.
The first thing I noticed when we arrived was that the training that the aquarium guys have been doing to build Yoshi up for her big day has definitely had an effect. Her behaviour was very different from usual: she was very active, very busy. Usually, when we’re there, she’s dozing like a beagle in her favourite corner. Not today.
The kids had a great time making Yoshi souvenirs at the craft tables before Communications & Sustainability Manager Helen Lockhart and Turtle Conservation Coordinator Talitha Noble gave us a great presentation all about turtles and Yoshi’s time at the aquarium, and then there was a pretty decent breakfast as well.
We had a great time.
I was waiting for tears as we left – I’d even brought tissues in preparation – but
no-one seemed very sad to see us go Scoop was remarkably stoic and we made it out with no huge issues.
Obviously, we’ll miss Yoshi, but she’s definitely off to a better place (no, not like that). For all that she has been a great ambassador for the Aquarium and for turtlekind, Yoshi’s true home is the ocean.