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Newport Aquarium features 14 new turtle species

NEWPORT, Ky. (Scott Dimmich) -- An new exhibit opening in mid-March at the Newport Aquarium promises to take visitors inside the world of turtles large and small.

Tuesday afternoon the aquarium announced the addition of "Turtle Canyon."  If you've been to the Newport Aquarium you've seen the fishes, sharks and rays.  But Tuesday it was all about the turtles.

The release of a baby Loggerhead turtle was the first step toward building the new exhibit.  The stars of the show got used to their surroundings in their new home.

"This is the first time this animal has seen another animal of any sort," aquatic biologist, Jen Hazeres, said.  "When they're collected out of their next they are put in individual baskets by each other.  So, this is it!  This turtle is getting an idea of what would be a food source and what wouldn't be a food source."

Turtle Canyon will include 14 species from three continents.  The exhibit will allow visitors to interact with the world's largest, smallest, and fastest tortoise.

"We have about 10 species of tortoises and turtles that you'll be able to touch.  We all know that kids love to be kids and kids like me at heart like being up close and personal and like being able to learn things through touch," Ric Urban, and animal ambassador, told us.

The aquarium's new attraction is a sea turtle conservation effort and a new way to explore turtles of all shapes and sizes.  The exhibit will hopefully bring the public closer to the natural world.

Turtle Canyon will open to the public at the aquarium on Saturday, March 22nd.  The baby sea turtle seen in the video is in need of a name!

CLICK HERE to vote on the Newport Aquarium's Facebook page.




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