New Year, No Turtles?

Javier Jimenez, Writer

In the science wing there is a large glass tank that has been empty since the start of the year, but this hasn’t always been the case.

Students may remember the tank populated with turtles as recently as last school year, and the turtles will soon return.

With the turtles’ seemingly sudden disappearance, students wonder where the turtles went and when they may come back.

According to Ben Hannah, the science department curriculum specialist and head caretaker of the turtles, they were temporarily sent to the zoo where they are being taken care of.

“The turtle tank needed to be deep cleaned and there were some structural issues with a few leaks, therefore, it was determined 2019 was the year to take care of this,” Hannah said.

Turtles require a lot of attention in order to keep them healthy, which is why the biology teachers took turns taking care of them. When the turtles come back, the science department has agreed that they will all be helping take care of them.

“We have taken care of the turtles for the past 15 years. We would change their water, add water when the tank was low due to evaporation, add plants, feed the turtles specialized turtle pellets and raw vegetation,” Hannah said.

John Tripp, a science teacher and another caretaker of the turtles, also mentioned that since this was an ideal time to make renovations to the tank since the turtles are currently at the zoo.

“Once the renovations to the tank are done, it will look different.  We will have to see what the changes will be and decide what plants to add,” Tripp said.

While their return date is yet to be determined the science department, Principal Cano and the Henry Doorly Zoo are all working hard to help bring back the turtles.

“The students enjoyed the living animals in our building. Many students like to eat breakfast and lunch while just watching the turtles swim and miss them very much. The turtles have been at South for at least 20 years.

They were part of the addition that was added way prior to my time here at South. Students and staff miss the turtles and are anxiously awaiting their return,” Hannah said.