ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque BioPark held its Sea Turtle Awareness Day in conjunction with the BioPark Aquarium and Botanic Garden celebrating their 25-year-anniversary. On Saturday, there were a number of educational events centered around educating the public on how it can protect the endangered species.
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ABQ BioPark Education Facilitator Fred Whiteman-Jennings said the aquarium features two sea turtles, a Hawksbill Sea Turtle named Jimmy and a Loggerhead Sea Turtle named Mimi, who has been with the aquarium almost as long as it’s been in operation. Whiteman-Jennings said they both represent endangered species and live at the aquarium since they could not be released back into the wild due to injuries.
Risks to sea turtles include harmful fishing and ocean pollution, particularly plastic pollution. “One of the things you can do here today is learn about plastic pollution and what we can do here in Albuquerque to prevent plastic from getting into the ocean like recycling, not using plastic bags or water bottles. We really want to reduce the amount of plastic that we use,” Whiteman-Jennings said.
They provided crafts, storytime, and aquarist talks. “We do focus a lot on kids because kids are the future. We want them to grow up knowing that everything is connected. Even though we’re here in the middle of the desert, we are connected to sea turtles in the ocean, and what we do here matters for them,” Whiteman-Jennings said. “But we do a lot with adults too here at the BioPark, and I think that some of the stations we have would be really fun for an adult.”