by Jeanne Gang at Center for Humans & Nature
People young and old are captivated by Calypso, the Green Sea Turtle who lives at the National Aquarium. Whether swimming in the crystal-blue waters of the Blacktip Reef exhibit, nibbling on romaine lettuce and the occasional squid, or peeking her head out just above the glistening surface, the five-hundred-pound, three-flippered Calypso is a sight to behold. The giant turtle was rescued by the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation in 2000, after becoming cold-stunned and stranded in the Long Island Sound. At the time of her rescue, Calypso weighed only six pounds and had a badly infected front flipper that was later amputated. Due to federal regulations governing the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of endangered marine life, the Riverhead Foundation could not return Calypso to her habitat. Instead, she came to live at the National Aquarium, where she has been delighting visitors ever since as one of the Aquarium’s most popular attractions.