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Sea turtle loves Christmas sprouts

PUBLISHED: 14:51 15 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:57 03 July 2010

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SEA Life staff will be feeding brussel sprouts to their resident sea turtle this Christmas…but not before taking special measures to counter the inevitable gas leak!

Sea turtles love nothing better than a festive feast of sprouts, but evidently suffer the same embarrassing side-effect that afflicts many humans after eating these particular greens.

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SEA Life staff will be feeding brussel sprouts to their resident sea turtle this Christmas…but not before taking special measures to counter the inevitable gas leak!

Sea turtles love nothing better than a festive feast of sprouts, but evidently suffer the same embarrassing side-effect that afflicts many humans after eating these particular greens.

And after a bout of flatulence suffered by another sprout-loving turtle at a sister attraction in Weymouth triggered a minor drama, the Great Yarmouth team are taking steps to avoid a repetition.

"The Weymouth turtle produced so much gas that the bubbles triggered an alarm just above the surface of the water, which is there to prevent an overflow," said Displays Supervisor Christine Pitcher.

"It was a bit of freak incident, but it resulted in an aquarist having to dash to the centre in the middle of the night, so we're not going to take any chances," she added.

The Yarmouth team will be lowering the water level a couple of inches before delivering their male sea turtle - appropriately enough a green turtle - his Yuletide treat.

"Sprouts are really healthy for green turtles," said Christine. "The high levels of calcium in them are great for their shells, the fibre is good for their digestion and they also contain lots of beneficial Vitamin C, sulphur and potassium."

Green turtles are found the world over, but their numbers have declined alarmingly in recent decades due to loss of nesting habitats, exploitation for food and accidental by-catch.

They feed mainly on vegetation and can grow to a metre-and-a-half long and nearly 400k in weight.?

Great Yarmouth's captive-bred resident male is only about a metre long, and at just eight-years-old will not reach maturity for another 20 years or so.

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