Flint Riverquarium favorite heads home - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Flint Riverquarium favorite heads home

December 30, 2005

By: Robbyn DeSpain

Albany- It was an early morning wake-up call for Arnold, the loggerhead sea turtle and star of the Turtles, Life in the slow lane exhibit at the Flint Riverquarium. But Arnold isn't your average loggerhead.

"She was found off Tampa Bay and had gotten tangled in some monafilaments fishing line and had become very neucrotic and they had to amputate part of her flipper to save her life," says Richard Brown, General Curator at the Flint Riverquarium.

Arnold, the she-sea turtle? Her name comes from being one tough reptile.

Brown says "In the process they discovered how strong she was so they named her Mrs. Arnold Schwartzenegger and sooner or later the Mrs. and the Schwartzenegger was dropped and she just became Arnold."

She has been in Albany since April when the turtle exhibit debuted. Around 8:30 Friday morning after careful planning, Riverquarium workers began the move. Arnold was carefully lifted from her pool onto a cart and then wheeled outside to a waiting S-U-V.

"They have to have a padded place to be transported in so they don't hurt themselves and they have to be kept moist so that their shell doesn't flake. But other than that it is a relatively easy transport," says Brown.

She will stay at the Florida Aquarium for about a month before heading to her permanent home at the Clearwater Aquarium in Tampa. Arnold may be heading home, but she leaves behind many friends in Albany.

 "A lot of the members are gonna be sad to see her go, I hope they came these last couple of days and saw her and got to say goodbye," Brown says.

Even though Arnold is gone, you can still see plenty of reptiles, including most of the turtles of Georgia. You'd better hurry though, the turtle exhibit ends January first. The Flint Riverquarium will be open from 9-until-5 tomorrow and 12-to-6 on Sunday if you want to view the turtles.

Also in March, the new exhibit called "Venom" will debut and it will feature all of the poisonous snakes in Georgia.

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