Research & Graduate Studies
Sea Camp and Outreach
Texas A&M Maritime Academy
TAMUG Sea Life Facility announces winner of name of the rescued sea turtle contest
(Galveston, Texas—April 23, 2012) — In January, a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle was captured near Galveston in a cast net by local fishermen. It was rehabilitated by the National Marine Fisheries Service and brought to the Texas A&M University at Galveston Sea Life Facility to recuperate.
The Sea Turtle Restoration Project (www.seaturtles.org), a TAMUG affiliate, sponsored a “Name an Endangered Ridley Turtle” contest for middle and elementary schools students to find a name for the injured turtle. And on April 1st, contest winners were selected and the name was revealed. The turtle has been named Milagro, which means miracle in Spanish. The winning name was submitted by teacher Amanda Copp '05 on behalf of her middle school science class from Sam Houston Middle School in Garland, Texas.
“The students felt this turtle was a miracle,” Copp said. “When the class viewed the live turtle-cam and saw the turtle’s missing flipper and chip out of its shell, the students were amazed that the turtle survived,” she said. “After learning more about the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles and finding out their main nest is in Mexico, my students became very excited since 90 percent of the school’s population is Hispanic.”
The TAMUG Sea Life Facility is suited for sea life rescue work. The new state-of-the-art facility serves as a resource for turtles, which need a place to recuperate after hospitalization. It is also a place where TAMUG students can learn about endangered turtles and the general public can view recovering turtles through protective glass, or online at Galveston.com
Milagro continues to recover, grow, and gain strength. The turtle is expected to be released in late May or early June, once the waters are suitably warm. For now, the turtle remains at the TAMUG Sea Life Facility under watchful eyes to monitor its diet, growth and daily activity. The gender of the turtle is still unknown, as visual gender characteristics do not appear until the turtles reach maturity.
Milagro has been a great attraction and strong influence in the public education efforts by TAMUG to teach people about sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico. The outreach center efforts of the TAMUG Sea Life Facility provide a place for students, faculty, and the general public to experience an important interaction of science and nature. Live video webcam of Milagro can be viewed by logging on to: www.galveston.com/turtlevideocam/ or www.tamug.edu/sealife/turtlecam.html.