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Sea Turtle in Bronze

There’s a new sea turtle at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Like many sea turtles, it swims along the sandy ocean floor in a seagrass bed. But this sea turtle won’t ever grow old or weaken. The life-sized bronze sea turtle sculpture is a lasting tribute to its human donors and all sea turtle species.

“We are thrilled to have this beautiful piece of art on display for zoo guests to see and touch,” said Ruthann Howell, the Executive Director of The Zoo Society.

Children and adults can climb and sit on the 1-foot-tall and 3-foot-long statue.

The family behind the donation to The Zoo Society named the statue “Sally” in honor of their late daughter. They describe Sally as full of grace and mesmerized by the calmness of the ocean.

“They said there was no better way to honor their daughter and the oceans she loved than with a sculpture of an animal that she adored,” said Howell. “We hope it will motivate zoo guests to learn more about sea turtles and how to help eliminate the challenges they 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 and being caught as bycatch in fishing gear or entangled in plastic. They also consume plastics that they mistake for food.

Anyone can help by reducing the usage of single-use plastics to keep our beaches and oceans clean, carrying reusable water bottles and shopping bags, and reducing marine debris that may entangle or be accidentally eaten by sea turtles.

The sculpture, created by Ed Kroupa, a Tacoma artist and owner of Two Ravens Studio, can be found about halfway down the main path from the plaza to the Pacific Seas Aquarium- across from The Zoo Society kiosk. The Zoo Society will retain ownership and oversee the maintenance of the sculpture. 

After visiting the statue, head to the Pacific Seas Aquarium to see three sea turtles in Baja Bay.