Snorkel says, “After I washed up on a Cornwall beach in 1990 I became to be the star in this amazing Great Barrier Reef. Although I sometimes think about the ocean, I cannot be released due to my poor eyesight, my buoyancy problems and epilepsy. So it is much better to stay here, with my friends and those nice keepers that take good care of me.”
Star of the Great Barrier Reef exhibit, Snorkel is our resident loggerhead turtle. Snorkel was washed up on Sennen Cove beach, Cornwall in 1990; our vet believes she is around 28 years old. After her rehabilitation, she wasn’t released back into the wild due to her ill health. Firstly, her eyesight is very poor and, as she is unable to hunt for food herself, our biologists must feed her squid and fish twice a day. Secondly, she has problems with her buoyancy. Most turtles swim flat in the water, but Snorkel just can’t seem to get her bottom down, so she swims at an angle, with her bottom floating above the rest of her. This would also hinder her ability to hunt for food in the wild. Her epilepsy is a third reason that she cannot be released back into the wild, although fits in turtles cause them to freeze which is a bit different to people. Unfortunately for Snorkel, if she wasn’t medicated in the wild and had a fit she could drown. Thankfully our team give her medication in her food every day.