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Galapagos Tortoise On Way To New Ky. Exhibit

NEWPORT, Ky. (AP) — A 600-pound, 84-year-old Galapagos tortoise is making his way to northern Kentucky to star in a new exhibit opening next month.

The tortoise known as Bravo will be the featured animal of Turtle Canyon, an aquarium exhibit set to open March 22.

Bravo will be driven by van from a zoo in South Carolina in the next few weeks, The Enquirer (http://bit.ly/1nWPjYj) reported.

The tortoise was hatched in 1929 on the Ecuadorian island of Santa Cruz, and arrived in the U.S. as part of the last group of tortoises exported from the Galapagos Islands.

The aquarium’s new exhibit will feature a collection of more than 14 turtle species spanning three continents.

Also on display at Turtle Canyon will be a 6-month-old, 1.9-pound endangered loggerhead. The female loggerhead hatched in August at Emerald Isle, N.C., and has been fostered by the Newport Aquarium husbandry staff since late October.

“Only one in a thousand baby loggerhead sea turtles make it to adulthood once they are hatched, so this program is very important as a conservation initiative for all of us,” said Chris Pierson, the aquarium’s director of operations. “Anytime we can save one animal and give it a head start is very important.”

He said the baby will be released in October with a satellite tag attached to it. The goal is to better understand the migration patterns of loggerhead sea turtles.

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Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer,

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