Turtles from Great Yarmouth Sea Life emigrating to Portugal, but Noah’s staying!

The Turtle Shelter at Sea Life Great Yarmouth

The Turtle Shelter at Sea Life Great Yarmouth - Credit: Sea Life Great Yarmouth

Dozens of freshwater turtles will soon be leaving the Great Yarmouth seafront and migrating to sunny Portugal!

Fear not! Noah will be remaining at Sealife, Great Yarmouth.

Fear not! Noah will be remaining at Sealife, Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Zac Macaulay

Attraction Turtle Shelter, which opened two years ago is to be packed up and shipped to a new home in Porto to make way for a new feature exhibition.

“Turtle Shelter has been a huge success,” said lead aquarist Darren Gook. “It houses a range of freshwater turtles, many of them illegally imported and confiscated by customs officers.

“Others were unwanted pets purchased when tiny by people who didn’t really appreciate just how big they can grow or how much care they need, an unfortunate side-effect of the popularity of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

Darren believes Turtle Shelter and others like it at sister Sea Life attractions have done much to prevent more unwise purchases, and potentially more unwanted or abandoned pets.

“We hope it will have a similarly positive effect on the pet-purchase decisions of Portuguese visitors when it launches at Porto Sea Life Centre,” he said.

Norfolk turtle fans have until Sunday, February 25 to catch them at Sea Life Great Yarmouth before they are carefully loaded into their transport containers and their display tanks are dismantled ready for the move.

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Species include map turtles, an Eastern snakeneck turtle, a Chinese soft-shell turtle and red-bellied short-neck turtles among others.

Some are registered in an international turtle stud book which keeps a record of captive stock enabling different facilities to exchange breeding animals to guarantee a healthy genetic pool.

Turtles have been around for 200 million years, but several species are now endangered.

The Turtle Shelter borrowed much from shapes and make-up of turtles themselves.

“It features giant turtle eggs and footage of hatchlings emerging from their shells,” said Darren.

The legions of admirers of Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre’s iconic sea turtle Noah can rest easy however. He is staying put in the Centre’s huge ocean display.