Izzy, a juvenile green sea turtle that has been a patient of the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation Center since last November, is off to a new home in Springfield, Missouri, where she will be a new addition at the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium.
“We’re very excited for Izzy to be an ambassador for her species in the Midwest,” said Stu Clausen, Assistant Curator of Life Sciences at Wonders of Wildlife. “It will allow people in the region and surrounding states the opportunity to learn about her species and about conservation.”
Izzy will be the first sea turtle to be a guest of Wonders of Wildlife, Clausen said.
“We are happy to see Izzy welcomed to a new home and in a place where she will represent the diversity of ocean wildlife,” said STAR Center Manager Amber White.
Izzy's departure comes a year and a day after she was found stranded in Frisco. STAR Center technicians treat sick and injured sea turtles with the goal of being able to return them to sea, and the center works closely with aquarium veterinarians to determine when and if sea turtles can be released. In Izzy’s case, the specific injury was to the bones of her inner ear, which aid in navigation and orientation. After months of therapy including the use of weights to try to restore balance, it was determined that Izzy might not be able to take care of herself in the wild.
“There are just too many unknowns,” White said. “She is swimming great here at the STAR Center, but we can’t be sure she would be able to find food and avoid predators in the ocean."
Fortunately, the Wonders of Wildlife was looking for a sea turtle and had put out a request specifically for a juvenile green. “It’s just a great fit,” White said.