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Thoughtful Thursdays: Loggerhead Head Start Program

Published December 06, 2012

Baby loggerhead turtle

As part of our Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes, National Aquarium in Washington, DC is giving one lucky winner the opportunity to name and have a behind-the-scenes "meet and greet" with our newest baby loggerhead turtle, arriving this month!

In order to help save these magnificent sea turtles from extinction, National Aquarium participates in the Loggerhead Head Start Program, run by the North Carolina Aquarium in Pine Knoll, that gives these baby sea turtles a better chance at survival in the wild.

Sea turtle hatchlings found stranded far from the ocean, spend time in aquariums where they can safely grow. After being given a clean bill of health and an extra boost of nutrition, they are tagged and released back to the ocean!

Baby loggerhead turtle

Baby loggerheads, like this one, spend their time exploring our Gray's Reef exhibit before being released into the wild!

Sea turtles have a challenging life. Most weighing just 20 grams at birth, they face many natural predators both on the sandy beaches where they hatch and in the oceans where they dwell. Because of their low survival rate, they have been classified as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

After a two years of growth, National Aquarium staff returns them to North Carolina for release. Eventually, these turtles could weigh up to 200 pounds!

So - Want a chance to meet our newest turtle? 

There are five great ways to be entered to win! 

Stay tuned for more features on our once-in-a-lifetime sweepstakes prizes! Winners will be announced on our Facebook page starting December 17!

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