One of Blackpool’s rarest and oldest aquatic residents will wave a flipper goodbye to the town where she grew up.
Lulu the giant green sea turtle will leave Sea Life Blackpool this week for waters new.
Lulu made a splash when she returned to Blackpool nearly two years ago while her Sea Life Brighton home was undergoing a major upgrade. She was previously a favourite at the Blackpool Tower aquarium, where she lived for many years.
She will return to Brighton next week. Another turtle is pegged to move in to her old tank next month.
Matthew Titherington, general manager at Sea Life Blackpool, said: “It’s been fantastic to have Lulu back in Blackpool. She’s been the star of the show and a firm favourite among visitors. We’re now busy planning her return home, after extensive work has been completed at Sea Life Brighton, where she will be reunited with her partner, Gulliver, who’s been staying at Sea Life Birmingham.
“Lulu has had a fabulous stay in Blackpool and we’ll have some brilliant memories of her time here. Visitors still have a last chance to see her before she sets off.”
A new ‘Turtle Rescue’ zone, inspired by Lulu, was set up at Sea Life Blackpoolto help visitors learn more about how they can protect and help care for the endangered species.
Head aquarist Scott Blacker, said: “Despite laws protecting sea turtles in most countries, these include being hunted for their eggs, meat and shells, a legal practice in many parts of the world where they are considered a delicacy.”
Plastic pollution is another increasing threat.
Green sea turtles see their their nesting and foraging areas destroyed by pollution, and are at risk of becoming entangled in commercial and industrial fishing nets.
Scott said: “Sir David Attenborough has really drawn everyone’s attention to the massive problem of plastic pollution and the critical impact it has on our oceans and marine life. People are becoming increasingly aware of the conservation initiatives which are taking place around the world and how everyone can help to protect turtles and other marine life. For example, by reducing their use of single-use plastic.”