ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – The Albuquerque BioPark hosted its Sea Turtle Awareness Day in conjunction with the BioPark Aquarium and Botanical Garden celebrating their 25th anniversary. On Saturday there were a number of educational events focused on educating the public on how they can protect endangered species.
ABQ BioPark Education Facilitator Fred Whiteman-Jennings said the aquarium includes two sea turtles, a hawksbill turtle named Jimmy and a loggerhead turtle named Mimi, who has been with the aquarium for almost as long as he is active. Whiteman-Jennings said they are both endangered species and live at the aquarium as they could not be released into the wild due to injuries.
Risks to sea turtles include harmful fishing and ocean pollution, especially 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 keep plastic out of the ocean, like recycling, without using any plastic bags or water bottles. We really want to reduce the amount of plastic we use,” Whiteman-Jennings said.
They provided crafts, story time and aquarist talks. “We focus a lot on children because children are the future. We want them to grow up knowing that everything is connected. Even though we are here in the middle of the desert, we are connected to the sea turtles in the ocean, and what we do here matters to them,” Whiteman-Jennings said. “But we also do a lot with adults here at BioPark, and I think some of the stations we have would be really fun for an adult.”