Friday, December 9, 2022

The Virginia Living Museum needs your help to name its new sea turtle

The Virginia Living Museum is asking the public to help name its loggerhead sea turtle. (WYDaily photo/Courtesy Virginia Living Museum)
The Virginia Living Museum is asking the public to help name its loggerhead sea turtle. (HNNDaily photo/Courtesy Virginia Living Museum)

NEWPORT NEWS — The Virginia Living Museum has a new loggerhead sea turtle — and the museum wants you to help name it.

The museum has culled a list of names suggested by its followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but is leaving the final choice up to the public. Votes can be cast on the museum’s website, its Facebook page or at the kiosk in the lobby of the museum at 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd.

Voting ends Aug. 8.

While the public is being asked to vote on an official name for the turtle, it is still too early to determine its gender because loggerheads take about 15 years to reach sexual maturity, the museum said.

The turtle, which is 2 years old, came to the museum in November 2017, when it was transferred from the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. At the time, the loggerhead weighed 15 pounds, so it was kept behind the scenes to allow it to gain at least another 10 pounds before being introduced into the the museum’s 30,000-gallon  Chesapeake Bay aquarium, the museum said.

By June, the turtle weighed 33 pounds and it joined other species native to Virginia — including a sandbar shark — in the aquarium. The turtle will be on display until it matures enough to be released back into the wild, according to the museum.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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