Sea Life Michigan Announces Newest Animal – Benson the Endangered Green Sea Turtle
Sea Life Michigan has been a busy destination for families and guests across the state. A typical week sees the company’s website or Facebook page announce limited tickets for the weekend or complete sellouts in some cases. That strong demand isn’t likely to stop, as the state’s largest aquarium announced its newest featured animal. Sea Life Michigan will add Benson, a rescued and endangered Green Sea Turtle, to the aquarium in June.
In honor of World Turtle Day (May 23rd), Sea Life curators Lucy Handel and Kelli Cadenas are escorting Benson from Georgia to Michigan via a Southwest Airlines flight. Benson, who is believed to be eight years old, will even have his own seat on the plane.
Benson will join Sea Life Michigan from the Georgia Sea Turtle Hospital. Benson was rescued from the Anastasia State Park in Florida, where he was hit by a boat. The accident caused caudal carapace fracture and also induced a hypothermic reaction called cold-stunning. Benson will spend at least one week in a medical pool receiving round the clock monitoring. When he is ready, Benson will be released into the 120,000 gallon ocean tank.
Benson is considered non-releasable, meaning he will never be able to survive in the wild. Due to the injury, he is unable to dive for food. Benson will receive plenty of food while at Sea Life Michigan. His diet of lettuce, cucumbers, and bell peppers will be donated by Kroger for the first full year.
Green Sea Turtles are an endangered species, which makes this new addition to Sea Life Michigan unique. Only 1,000 to 10,000 of the yearly sea turtle hatchlings survive to adulthood. Curator Kelly Cadenas had this to say on turtles, “We hope visiting Benson will enable our visitors to learn more about protection and conservation efforts of the endangered animals worldwide and inspire them to take an active role in eliminating the human threats.”
Benson joins more than 250 other species of animals and more than 5000 creatures that are featured at Sea Life Michigan. The largest aquarium in Michigan opened January 29th. Sea Life of Michigan became the 7th Sea Life opened in the United States and 42nd in the world. Sea Life is owned by Merlin Entertainment, the largest resort company in Europe and second largest in the world, with annual attendance exceeding 60 million to more than 100 attractions in 22 countries.
We toured Sea Life Michigan back in January and were able to share our review here with readers. That review was also accompanied by a photo gallery, which provided some up close pictures of the creatures you can see at the aquarium. With the aquarium a short or long distance away for visitors, we also shared a list of nearby kid friendly destinations that could help you make a day or weekend trip out of an aquarium visit.
If you haven’t been to Sea Life yet, be sure to plan a trip soon. The destination is great and offers an up close view of a large number of sea creatures. You and your kids will love it. If you order tickets online, you can save money on each ticket and also guarantee a spot in line when you get to the aquarium. Remember your ticket is good for all day, so you can make multiple trips through the aquarium or split up your visit according to lunch or shopping in the Great Lakes Crossing Mall.
Also remember that Legoland Michigan, also owned by Merlin Entertainment, will open in Great Lakes Crossing Outlets Mall in the spring of 2016. As we reported earlier, the Kansas City mall that has both a Sea Life and Legoland offers combo tickets for both destinations, saving you money if you plan on visiting both. I received confirmation from a Merlin Entertainment representative that this will also be the case with the Great Lakes Crossing destinations.