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Turtle Reef habitat reopens at SeaWorld San Diego

by Susan and Simon Veness

Turtle Reef has been enhanced and upgraded at SeaWorld San Diego, and is ready to welcoming visitors back to experience new ways to learn and explore.

turtle reef sea turtles
Photos courtesy of SeaWorld

Among the enhancements to the habitat are the addition of eight new skylights that stream natural sunlight into the environment, a seamless main viewing window, and educational talks and gamification experiences that teach about sea turtles

The habitat closed in October 2021, and during the six months of down time tropical fish and themed rocks were added to the environment where threatened green and loggerhead turtles and endangered hawkbill sea turtles reside.

Daily Turtle Talks will take place at the new habitat, starting April 23, 2022, during which an animal educator will share facts and statistics about sea turtles along with stories of rescues and the animals in the park’s care.  

“Sea turtles play an important role in maintaining healthy ocean ecosystems, including, among other things, maintaining healthy seagrass beds and coral reefs, but sadly, every species is currently threatened or endangered,” said Eric Otjen, curator of Zoological Operations and Animal Rescue at SeaWorld San Diego. “Through combining education with world class animal care and permanent homes for sea turtles that cannot be returned to the wild ocean, SeaWorld is furthering its conservations mission to protect marine animals and their habitats.”

turtle reef seaworld san diego

Educational opportunities geared toward all ages will teach about sea turtle nesting, where turtles live, what they eat, and the threats they are under.

Games will help players understand the importance of sea turtle conservation while highlighting the human and ocean animal threats to various turtle species.

TurtleLink touch-screen digital map allows viewers to track live turtles around the world’s oceans, providing information, photos, and video footage.

Family friendly interactive game Race to the Beach lets players guide their sea turtle to the Baja Peninsula to lay eggs, while navigating the real challenges turtles face in the wild.

A new Turtle Reef gift shop allows guests to shop for merchandise such as a new line of SeaWorld Rescue items, including doll sets, play sets, apparel, turtle plushes, and more. For a limited time, guests will receive 10% off select merchandise. A portion of every SeaWorld Rescue purchase will benefit the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund.

Seven Seas Food Festival will be running on Friday-Sunday through May 1, giving visitors a chance to sample more than 150 food and beverage offerings before and after their visit to Turtle Reef.

Purchase a SeaWorld annual pass, starting at $150 for a Silver pass up to $282 for a Platinum pass, and receive entry into the park for a full year.

For more information visit SeaWorld.com.

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