Bruno, a 23-year-old Atlantic green sea turtle, is joining the Zoo’s two other turtles, Sunny and Azul, in the Pacific Seas Aquarium just in time to celebrate World Sea Turtle Day.
Bruno arrived at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium late last year from Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. He’s been hanging out behind the scenes getting to know his keepers and settling in at his new home.
“We wanted him to be extremely comfortable behind the scenes before we introduced him to the other animals in the Baja Bay exhibit,” said staff biologist Melissa Bishop.
Bishop said Bruno mostly keeps to himself, but does like to swim next to Sunny and Azul and rub his shell on them.
“He didn’t even really notice the sharks!” said Bishop.
Once the Pacific Seas Aquarium opens to visitors, they will easily be able to tell the difference between Bruno and the other sea turtles. As an Atlantic green sea turtle, Bruno weighs 156 pounds and is noticeably larger than Sunny and Azul, who are smaller, Eastern Pacific green sea turtles.
Bruno keeps a diet of primarily romaine, cucumbers, endive, bell peppers and zucchini.
“He seems to have a particular liking to green beans,” said Bishop.
Another way visitors can tell the turtles apart: Bruno has more of an oval shape to him, and his skin and shell are a lighter color.
Together, Bruno, Sunny and Azul will serve as ambassadors for their wild counterparts, helping teach visitors about the challenges sea turtles face in the wild. All seven species of sea turtles are threatened or endangered. They face many challenges including poaching for their meat, eggs, and shells, as well as being caught as bycatch in fishing gear or entangled in plastic. They also consume plastics that they mistake as food.
How you can help protect sea turtles in the wild: reduce usage of single-use plastics to keep our beaches and oceans clean, carry reusable water bottles and shopping bags, and reduce marine debris that may entangle or be accidentally eaten by sea turtles. Explore more on our plastic-free page.