TEMPE - SEA LIFE Arizona welcomed its newest family member Tuesday. Frye, a rescued green sea turtle, is settling in nicely at the Tempe aquarium.
"Frye suffered a boat strike to the head," explained SEA LIFE Arizona curator Dirk Westfall. "Which has caused it to have somewhat of an impaired vision issue and that keeps it from being released back into the wild."
Frye arrived in Arizona earlier this month from a rehab center in Georgia. The sea turtle was found floating in the surf on Cumberland Island, GA in 2008.
A fragile Frye made the two thousand mile journey to our state on a commercial airliner. Amazed passengers on board Frye's flight snapped photos of the endangered species getting a midair snack.
"Even if you're in the wild or on the East Coast and you see a sea turtle it's generally from a distance," said Westfall." "So this way you'll get really up close and personal."
A large crowd gathered at SEA LIFE Arizona Tuesday as Frye was released into its new 3,200 gallon tank. Frye now eats on its own and dives into the water when it feels like it, but spends most of the time at the water's surface. That's perfect for little curious aquarium goers who are already getting a kick out Frye.
This is the second rescued sea turtle to call SEA LIFE Arizona home. A young Frye is safe now, splashing around among tropical fish and small reef sharks but could grow to weigh up to 400 pounds and live to be 100 years old.
"Frye is about five or six years old is what we're guessing from size, so he'll probably be with us for quite a long time," smiled Westfall.
According to SEA LIFE's Facebook page, Frye is too young to know if its a male or female yet.