The new permanent exhibit lets guests of all ages learn about the threats turtles face in the wild and experience first-hand the process of successfully rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing sea turtles. Upon entry, guests will become a bonafide turtle rescuer as they collect a mock turtle from the beach, name and weigh their patient, then begin a virtual rehabilitation journey. After using an x-ray machine to diagnose and remedy injuries, guests nurse their turtle back to health at the feeding and hydration station then release them back into the wild.
In addition to observing non-releasable sea turtles in a display tank, guests can also view aquarists through a glass window working with real injured patients in the aquarium’s new rehabilitation facility and hospital. The Grapevine aquarium is the first SEA LIFE in the U.S. to be permitted to rehabilitate sick and injured sea turtles and release them back into the wild through partnerships with Animal Rehabilitation Keep (ARK), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other Texas coast sea turtle hospitals.