Tsunami hit the metro area hard and fast on Tuesday, according to reports, and in so doing likely caused considerable joy.
Ordinarily, a tsunami — caused by large earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and similar calamities — overjoys absolutely nobody and generally doesn’t trouble non-coastal areas like ours. This story, though, focuses not on the common-noun tsunami but on proper-noun Tsunami, a smallish green sea turtle and the latest addition to the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station.
Tsunami, a rescue animal, hails from the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on that state’s Jekyll Island, according to the St. Louis Aquarium’s press release. The release characterizes the turtle as a boat-strike survivor from Townsend, Georgia’s Shellman Fish Camp. Tsunami weighs just over 66 pounds with a straight carapace length of 24.2 inches.
Tsunami arrived at the Georgia center on July 18, 2017, with grave injuries behind one eye, across the jaw and to the left front flipper, according to the release.
“Tsunami was a critical patient for a long time at the center,” the release continues. “From tube feeding to daily wound care, he had a long road to recovery. At the end of September 2017, Tsunami finally started showing interest in food, and by October he was able to eat on his own.”
After occupying a temporary habitat for a few days, Tsunami will move to new quarters in the St. Louis Aquarium’s Shark Canyon environment, the release states. The aquarium’s professional animal care team will continue the turtle’s jaw therapy as needed.
Transporting Tsunami to the metro area was the responsibility of Turtles Fly Too, a Boise, Idaho-based nonprofit, which, according to the press release, "provides private pilots who fly rescue turtles to their new homes to reduce the travel time and stress of transport on the animals."
The aquarium has also "whalecomed back" members of the public but asks guests to follow reopening guidelines that help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Plan ahead by visiting stlouisaquarium.com/plan-your-visit.
St. Louis Aquarium, stlouisaquarium.com, 201 S 18th St., St. Louis; 314.923.3900