Returning Lulu Becomes Star of the Show for 'Turtly Amazing' New Marine Conservation Experience 12 April 2018 by Visit Blackpool Staff at SEA LIFE Blackpool have welcomed a remarkable guest back to the resort. Previous visitors might remember seeing Lulu, the giant green sea turtle, when she was a firm favourite among children and visitors to The Blackpool Tower aquarium in the past. Now 79-year-old Lulu, who’s delighted millions of youngsters over the decades, has returned home to the Golden Mile, after spending seven years at SEA LIFE Brighton, following her former home being converted into The Blackpool Tower Dungeon in 2010. She is star of the show for the new Turtle Rescue zone at SEA LIFE Blackpool – just a short stroll along the Promenade from her original home – where Lulu will be the oldest resident at the popular seafront aquarium. “Many parents and grandparents from across the region will remember Lulu, the giant sea turtle,” said Matthew Titherington, general manager at SEA LIFE Blackpool. “We’re looking forward to welcoming them back when they bring their children and grandchildren to see exactly the same turtle, who’s still in great health.” Lulu is heading up the new interactive Turtle Rescue trail, which encourages guests of all ages to become experts in turtle care and conservation. "Turtle and marine life conservation has become prevalent," Matthew explained. "We're delighted that Lulu is returning to Blackpool. She is an extremely popular and remarkable creature. I know guests will enjoy learning more about Lulu and turtle conservation and, for many older visitors, to be able to see her again and share the experience with children and grandchildren." The new feature takes visitors on a real-life journey to discover what is involved in successfully rehabilitating a turtle. Children can receive a limited edition 'Turtle Rescue' pop badge after completing the trail and learning all about the turtle care package. Green sea turtles are listed as an endangered species by the global watchdog IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature. They face a growing range of threats, explained Scott Blacker, head aquarist at SEA LIFE Blackpool. "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," he said. Plastic pollution is another increasing threat, posing a massive risk to oceans and marine life, Scott continued. Green sea turtles are also threatened by destruction of their nesting and foraging areas, as well as becoming entangled in commercial and industrial fishing nets. "Our new Turtle Rescue area will show 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 plastic, such as straws and cups," added Scott. "The massive problem of plastic pollution has a critical impact on our oceans and marine life." SEA LIFE Blackpool is working closely with its charity partner, the Sea Life Trust, as part of its popular 'breed, rescue, protect' campaign, to develop and support conservation projects. These have already seen over 6,600 turtles rescued and rehabilitated. As well as learning how to save the endangered creatures, guests can also find out more about turtles from regular daily educational talks, as well as during special behind-the-scenes tours and feeding experiences. Visitors to SEA LIFE Blackpool can discover amazing facts about green sea turtles, such as: Their body fat is bright green! This is because they eat only seagrass and algae and are completely herbivorous as adults. It's how they got their name for the greenish hue of their skin Baby green sea turtles, on the other hand, eat crabs, sponges and jellyfish. Green sea turtles are born only 5 cm (2 in) long. But they grow up to 1.5 meters (5 ft) in length and can weigh over 300 kg (700 lbs), making them the largest of the hard-shell sea turtles. The dorsal (upper) shell, or carapace, of the green sea turtle is wide, smooth and brownish-olive in colour, while the underside of the shell, or plastron, is yellow. They cannot retract their heads into their bodies, a trait commonly associated with turtles. Reaching speeds of up to 35 mph in the ocean, their streamlined shell and paddle-like flippers help them to swim quickly and gracefully. Green sea turtles can hold their breath for hours at a time. Because they are cold-blooded, the water temperature affects their ability to do this. In colder water, they can hold their breath for longer. On land they move slowly, laboriously pulling themselves along with their flippers. Generally, green turtles only venture onto land to lay their eggs. Females lay eggs every 2-4 years once they are mature. To reach their nesting grounds, green sea turtles migrate long distances, travelling back to the beaches where they were born. After mating in the shallow waters near shore, female turtles climb onto the beach and lay their eggs in a pit they create. They lay 100-200 eggs at a time before covering them in sand then leaving them alone for two months before they hatch. Once the baby turtles hatch, they must crawl to the water and avoid a multitude of predators, including birds and crabs, and obstacles on the way. Green sea turtles make their home in tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide.