SAN DIEGO — A rescued loggerhead sea turtle recently received her annual checkup at San Diego’s Birch Aquarium and marine officials say she’s thriving.

The sea creature made international news back in 2017 after receiving a 3D-printed brace shell, which a spokesperson for the aquarium described as a “groundbreaking,” first-of-its-kind medical development for this species.

Now in present day, the aquarium says her shell is about the size of a boogie board, or about 3 feet long and more than 2.5 feet wide. The sea turtle’s progress is an incredible success story, according to marine officials.

Birch Aquarium’s Husbandry Team scrubbed her shell, got some new measurements and even collected a blood sample on Friday in an effort to track the sea turtle’s growth and health, which they say helps them provide her with the best possible care.

For those wanting to get an up-and-close look at San Diego’s rescued loggerhead sea turtle, Birch Aquarium is kicking off summer with extended seasonal hours. From May 28 to Sep. 4, guests can come check out the sea turtle and other marine life from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., except on days when private events have been booked.

“Many families are gearing up for a summer of exploration as warmer weather finally makes its way to San Diego,” said Harry Helling, Executive Director at Birch Aquarium. “By bringing back
interactive feedings and introducing new offerings, the aquarium hopes to advance its mission
of connecting understanding to protecting our ocean planet with new, fun and engaging
activities for our guests to enjoy.”

General admission tickets are $24.95 for adults and $19.95 for children ages 3-17.

The aquarium says they hope to demonstrate to visitors the important role each marine creature, like the loggerhead sea turtle, plays the in our ocean ecosystems.