PLENTY OF FISH
Experts hope lovesick turtle Cammy will come out of her shell with fun-loving Ernie
‘Your place or mine?’
It’s an awkward question at the best of times – but it’s even trickier when you’re endangered sea turtles living in aquariums in two different countries.
Luckily for 16-year-old Cammy, match makers at Loch Lomond Sea Life centre made the decision for her.
The lonely green sea turtle has followed her heart to Manchester Sea Life Centre, to shack up with potential mate Ernie, 12.
While the local staff and visitors are sad to see the character go, they say she has been pining for a mate and the love-sick turtle is off her food.
But experts say there is also a more serious side to the new union. As a sexually mature female, Cammy will start to produce eggs soon and without male company they won’t be stimulated to release causing them to become infected inside her – a potentially deadly condition.
It is hoped that Ernie – who is also ready to mate and has been making amorous advances to a large rock at he bottom of his tank – is the man for her.
Mark Hind, sea turtle specialist at Loch Lomond Sea Life Centre and Cammy’s carer, explained: “We are really, really going to miss Cammy, but it’s the best thing possible for both turtles and we are keeping everything crossed they will find happiness together.”
On Monday, August 14, marine specialists at Loch Lomond Sea Life Centre lifted Cammy, who weighs more than 13 stone, out of the aquarium’s 250,000 litre ocean tank in a specially designed sling.
She was then carried by stretcher to a four metre lorry, complete with non-slip mattress and shallow pool, where she had a specialist at her side at all times during the 230-mile drive to her new home.
Cammy came to Loch Lomond in 2010 after being rescued from the Cayman Islands.
She had ingested a lot of plastic and needed a serious operation to remove it from her stomach. Lasting damage meant she was unable to be released back into the wild.
But it did not curb Cammy’s appetite and after being nursed back to health, she became well known for scoffing all the food in her tank – including the shark’s dinner.
Sea turtle expert Emma Whittle, who will care for Cammy in Manchester, said: “Her intestines are very sensitive, so we have had a full briefing on her diet and healthcare.”
“Ernie is a very friendly, sociable turtle, he’s always looking for attention from our divers when they are cleaning the ocean tank and loves tummy rubs, so we have high hopes he and Cammy will take to each other right away.
“But we also need to bear in mind there’s a chance they won’t and there could be a little argybargy at first to establish who’s boss, in which case we will have two divers on hand to make sure neither turtle gets hurt.”
We have high hopes Ernie and Cammy will take to each other right away
Long distance relationship Cammy has moved to Manchester in her search for love