Sea Life Michigan Welcomes Benson the Sea Turtle

Benson the Green Sea Turtle waits to be released from the Med Pool Tank - Photo by Michael Dwyer

Benson the Green Sea Turtle waits to be released from the Med Pool Tank – Photo by Michael Dwyer

A Green Sea Turtle named Benson

After being hit by a boat last year, Benson, a Green Sea Turtle, was stranded at the Anastasia State Park in St. Johns County, Florida. A reaction called cold-stunning was induced by the fracture to his shell caused by the collision. Benson spent a year at the Georgia Sea Turtle Hospital in Jekyll Island where he was nursed back to health.

Sea Life of Michigan gives Benson a New Home

Sea Life Curator Kelli Cadenas gets ready to weigh Benson with help from 7 Action News Reporter Brad Galli - Photo by Michael Dwyer

Sea Life Curator Kelli Cadenas gets ready to weigh Benson with help from 7 Action News Reporter Brad Galli – Photo by Michael Dwyer

On May 22, SEA LIFE Michigan Curator, Kelli Cadenas, escorted Benson to Michigan via commercial airline. He has been monitored around the clock and isolated in a medical observation tank for just over a week.

Benson is stronger and healthier now, however he cannot be released back into the wild due to his injuries. He must wear a weight to help keep his buoyancy normal. The weight would fall off in the wild. Here at SEA LIFE Michigan, Cadenas and her team will monitor Benson and replace the weight as he grows and when it falls off.

Benson joins 5,000 other Sea Creatures

Sea Life children ambassadors made signs welcoming Benson to Michigan - Photo by Michael Dwyer

Sea Life children ambassadors made signs welcoming Benson to Michigan – Photo by Michael Dwyer

Several dozen people were on hand to witness Benson’s release into the 120,000-gallon ocean pool on Tuesday. Several children ambassadors for SEA LIFE made signs welcoming Benson to Michigan. After being weighed in at 16.2 pounds, Benson was free to swim into the large aquarium. Rays, sharks and hundreds of other species met him as he explored his new home.

Getting Adjusted

Benson explores his new home at Sea Life Michigan - Photo by Michael Dwyer

Benson explores his new home at Sea Life Michigan – Photo by Michael Dwyer

Zac Reynolds, a SEA LIFE aquarist, told Rochester Media that Benson will be monitored for 24-48 hours. Eventually, he will find one or two locations along the bottom to sleep and call his own.

The Kroger Co. of Michigan will be providing food for Benson. His diet will be vegetarian—just like it would be in the wild—cucumbers, green peppers and brussels sprouts. That’s a commitment, since Green Sea Turtles can live 150 years and Benson is eight to ten years old now.

Read about the SEA LIFE Grand Opening from earlier this year.

About SEA LIFE Michigan

Benson is about eight years old and should live well past 100 - Photo by Michael Dwyer

Benson is about eight years old and should live well past 100 – Photo by Michael Dwyer

SEA LIFE Michigan is a 35,000-square-foot aquarium in Auburn Hills at the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets. As the 7th SEA LIFE location in the United States, and the 42nd in the world, SEA LIFE Michigan features engaging, educational and one-of-a-kind experiences that bring guests nose-to-nose with more than 5,000 amazing creatures, including sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, sea horses and much, much more. SEA LIFE provides a glimpse of the diversity of marine life while also playing an active role in animal and environmental conservation. Visitors will see strong evidence of SEA LIFE’s Breed, Rescue and Protect activities around the world, including new projects developed locally.

There are places to sit and watch, a play area at the end for children, and a fully stocked gift shop. Online advance tickets are $17.50 per person. At the door adults pay $23.50 and children 3-12 years of age pay $18.50. Under age 3 is free. Annual passes are $60 per person; and an annual family pass (four people) is $230.

Sea Life Michigan is located in Auburn Hills at the Great Lakes Crossing Mall - Photo by Michael Dwyer

Sea Life Michigan is located in Auburn Hills at the Great Lakes Crossing Mall – Photo by Michael Dwyer

SEA LIFE

Michigan Aquarium

4316 Baldwin Road
Auburn Hills, MI 48326
866-622-0605
www.VisitSeaLife.com/Michigan

 

Opening Hours

Monday-Friday: 10am-9pm*
Saturday: 10am-9pm*
Sunday: 10am–6pm*
*Last entry is one hour prior to closing
About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at [email protected]dia.com.

Speak Your Mind

*