SAN DIEGO – It’s time to shell-ebrate as SeaWorld San Diego on Tuesday announced the reopening of its newly upgraded turtle habitat!

The Turtle Reef, which had been closed since October 2021, now features eight new skylights that allow natural light into the home of the aquatic animals, and also includes both loggerhead and hawksbill sea turtles, as well as additional species of tropical fish.

“Sea turtles play an important role in maintaining healthy ocean ecosystems including, among other things, maintaining healthy seagrass beds and coral reefs, but sadly every species is currently threatened or endangered,” Eric Otjen, Curator of Zoological Operations and Animal Rescue at SeaWorld San Diego, said in a news release. “Through combining education with world class animal care and permanent homes for sea turtles that cannot be returned to the wild ocean, SeaWorld is furthering its conservation mission to protect marine animals and their habitats.”

Theme park officials say that guests can now enjoy areas that have been enhanced with additional air conditioning ducts, repainted viewing areas and themed rocks inside the enclosures.

Additionally, SeaWorld has launched educational “Turtle Talks” which will begin on April 23 and will include facts about turtles and stories about the species, as well as an animal educator who will answer any questions guests may have.

SeaWorld also offers interactive learning adventures, including live tracking of turtles in oceans all over the world and a simulation that gives guests the chance to help keep animals safe while they lay eggs in the Baja Peninsula.

For more information on the opening of the Turtle Reef, as well as park hours and tickets, click HERE.

One thing’s for sure: you are not going to want to miss out on seeing the turtles’ new shell-ter on your next visit to SeaWorld San Diego!