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Tourist to Tour Guide: Charlotte – Day One

Tourist to Tour Guide: Charlotte – Day One

Wounded Warrior Project so kindly extended me the opportunity to participate in a special program called “Project Odyssey.” Part of the retreat included taking us on a behind the scenes tour of Sea Life in Charlotte, NC.  Our tour guide, Austin, was knowledgeable so I am excited to share some of the cool things I learned.

Sea Life Charlotte
Ocean Tank Specifications

The first interesting thing we learned is that the sea creatures eat 125lbs of food a week and Sea Life spends between $3,000 and $5,000 a month on food. However, what I found most interesting is that the creatures are fed a variety of foods; not the same thing all the time. He also taught us that sharks lay eggs just like chickens and that shark eggs are known as mermaid’s purse. The, “mermaid’s purse” feels like a leather pouch.

Neptune the Turte
Neptune the Turtle

The star of Sea Life is named Neptune. Neptune is a rescue turtle who was hit by a boat. The injury caused air to enter his shell giving him a “bubble butt.” The air trapped in his shell makes it difficult for him to dive down so his caretakers added weights to his shell to help him sink. He cannot return to the wild because the weights will need to be adjusted as he grows. Nepture is currently 10 years gold and could live another 40 years. Neptune seems to be fully aware of his celebrity and also seems to take great pleasure in teasing spectators with his appearance. As you can see, all I was able to capture was a blur as if Neptune were saying, “No photos, please.”

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