ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – Albuquerque BioPark hosted its Sea Turtle Awareness Day along with the BioPark Aquarium and Botanical Gardens celebrating their 25th anniversary. Saturday saw a series of awareness events focused on educating the public on how to protect the endangered species.
ABQ BioPark Education Facilitator Fred Whiteman-Jennings said the aquarium is home to two sea turtles, a hawksbill turtle named Jimmy and a loggerhead turtle named Mimi, which has been in the aquarium almost as long as it has been in operation. Whiteman-Jennings said they are both endangered species and live in the aquarium because injuries have prevented them from being released back into the wild.
Risks to sea turtles include harmful fishing and marine pollution, particularly plastic pollution. “One of the things you can do here today is educate yourself about plastic pollution and what we can do here in Albuquerque to prevent plastic from entering the ocean, like recycling, no plastic bags or use water bottles. We really want to reduce the amount of plastic we use,” Whiteman-Jennings said.
They offered crafts, stories and aquarist talks. “We are very focused on children because children are the future. We want them to grow up knowing that everything is connected. Even though we’re in the middle of the desert here, we’re connected to sea turtles in the ocean, and what we’re doing here is important to them,” Whiteman-Jennings said. “But we also do a lot with adults here in the BioPark and I think that some of the stations that we have would also be really fun for adults.”