Dozens of children squealed with delight upon encountering Roxy, Squirt and Boomerang.
The three endangered sea turtles have found a new home at the Sea Life Aquarium inside the Grapevine Mills Mall.
The Turtle Rescue Center, which debuted Thursday, has a tank with low windows that allow younger visitors to get an eye-to-eye view of the turtles. The tank is specially designed to the depth the turtles are able to safely dive based on their injuries.
The turtles “will serve as ambassadors for sea turtle education and ocean conservation,” said Iain Scouller, Sea Life Aquarium Grapevine’s general manager.
Here’s a look at some of the turtles you might see at the exhibit.
Roxy: The Kemp Ridley sea turtle was found stranded on a beach in 2007. Both left limbs were bitten off and her right limb had suffered a large bite, limiting mobility on her left side.
Squirt: Squirt, who was named in a Sea Life contest after a popular Finding Nemo character, suffered paralysis of both rear flippers and a cracked shell. This affected her ability to dive. A small weight was attached to her to allow her to dive.
Boomerang: This sea turtle is persistent. After rescuers rehabilitated her and released her, she kept coming back. Boomerang has a shell injury that causes her to stay afloat. She’ll also get special weights to allow her to dive in her new habitat.