They grow up so fast.
Husbandry and veterinary teams at Birch Aquarium recently conducted an annual checkup on the facility’s rescued Loggerhead Sea Turtle.
The exam included scrubbing her shell, taking new measurements, and collecting a blood sample, which helps experts track her growth and health over time.
The sea turtle has lived at Birch Aquarium since 2014. When she first arrived, she was underweight at 98 pounds — and had a hole in her shell that was causing curvature in her spine.
In 2017, the aquarium worked with the Digital Media Lab at UC San Diego Library to create a first-of-its-kind 3D-printed brace for her shell.
Today, she’s been rehabilitated to a healthy 210 pounds and her shell is 3 ft long and 2.5 ft wide — about the size of a boogie board.
See the shellebrity in the Hall of Fishes habitat, open daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.