Myrtle Gets a Checkup | God's World News
Myrtle Gets a Checkup
Critter File
Posted: July 01, 2024
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    Myrtle the green sea turtle swims in the main tank at the New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusetts. (AP/Bill Sikes)
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    Myrtle swims past divers preparing to hoist her from the Giant Ocean Tank. (AP/Rodrique Ngowi)
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    New England Aquarium staff and visitors look at Myrtle as the massive sea turtle rests in a crate. (AP/Rodrique Ngowi)
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    New England Aquarium workers hold Myrtle in place during the medical exam. (AP/Rodrique Ngowi)
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    New England Aquarium staff hold Myrtle’s neck as a veterinarian draws blood. (AP/Rodrique Ngowi)
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Kids come to see Myrtle at the New England Aquarium. (That’s in Boston, Massachusetts.) Their parents visited Myrtle when they were kids too. And so did their grandmas.

Myrtle is quite a grandma herself. She’s thought to be around 95 years old. Picking her up is kind of like picking up a piano. She weighs 500 pounds!

The turtle gets a checkup about twice per year. It’s quite the to-do. First, divers shepherd Myrtle into an enormous underwater crate. Workers use a winch and chain to hoist crated Myrtle from the aquarium’s Giant Ocean Tank. Dozens of visitors gawk.

Then veterinarians get to work. They draw blood from Myrtle. They have questions to answer: Can she move her flippers freely? Are her eyes, mouth, and nose working as they should?

Aquarium staff reassure curious kids while they watch. No, Myrtle is in no danger. No, the vets aren’t likely to get snapped by her powerful jaws.

Myrtle then gets an ultrasound. Staff measure her weight. Finally, workers return her to the ocean tank to munch lettuce and cabbage.

Myrtle is older than old—even for green sea turtles, which can live 70 years or more. She has been visited by about 50 million people over the decades. She’s gotten used to humans in that time. The aquarium’s website boasts that Myrtle, who arrived from another aquarium in 1970, “loves having her shell scratched.”

This checkup gives only good news. It looks like healthy Myrtle will live to swim another year.

Why? God blesses people with all kinds of callings. That includes reptile vets!