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All about Sapphire! 


Common Name: Loggerhead Sea Turtle

Scientific Name: Caretta caretta

Our story with Sapphire begins back in February, 2010! This beautiful animal was discovered in a canal in Islamorada in the Florida Keys. She was having trouble submerging due to an injury sustained when she was younger, which made her a target for dangerous boat propellers. She was rescued and brought to The Turtle Hospital (Hidden Harbor Marine Environmental Project, Inc.) and released into the wild after rehabilitation. Three years later, on May 13, 2013, Sapphire was re-admitted to The Turtle Hospital, having been found again in boating lanes. As she arrived at the hospital, the rehab staff noticed the “skirt” she seemed to be wearing on the lower end of her carapace from all the ea grass & algae that had developed while she had been floating at the surface for an extended period.  The Turtle Hospital and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services determined that Sapphire could not be released into the wild. Sapphire traveled to San Diego via a chartered flight donated by FedEx on September 25th, 2014! 

Now Sapphire has found her forever home at the Living Coast in our Shark and Ray Experience, a 21,000 gallon exhibit. You may notice she has weights glued to the back of her shell, which assist her in retaining buoyancy- an issue caused by her boating accident. 

It’s important to remember that we share our recreational spaces with wildlife we may not even see!  If you like to play in the Bay, remember to keep an eye out for wildlife and stay out of their way. 

Lexi and Sapphire3

  General Loggerhead Species Info:

  • Diet:
    • The Loggerhead Sea Turtle is omnivorous, feeding mainly on bottom dwelling invertebrates: mollusks, crustaceans, horseshoe crabs, clams, mussels, and other marine animals.
  • Age/Size:
    • Loggerheads average up to 1.1 meters (3.5 ft) long when fully grown, weighing approximately 135 kilograms (300 lb) and have a lifespan of 60-80+ years.
  •  Habitat:
    • Loggerheads prefer to feed in coastal bays and estuaries, as well as in the shallow water along the continental shelves of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.