Mystic, CT (WFSB) — Charlotte the sea turtle at Mystic Aquarium recently became equipped with custom-made weight patches to improve her buoyancy.
In 2008, Charlotte was struck by a boat propeller, causing partial paralysis of her lower digestive tract and hand flippers.
This caused her to float with her backside up, which is known as “bubble butt,” a press release from Mystic Aquarium said.
Charlotte was stranded near the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island and she was taken in to be cared for before being sent to Mystic Aquarium for more care.
Charlotte is unable to survive in the wild, but she continues to grow as she ages, and Mystic Aquarium officials said it is important for her to stabilize her swimming.
Mystic Aquarium caretakers and veterinarians created custom “neoprene pouches” that hold special weights to help Charlotte swim in a more natural posture.
The pouches are attached to either side of her back, on her shell. Each pouch will hold weights of different sizes to provide balance for her, which will help her with normal muscle development, the release said.
“Charlotte is not only beloved by visitors to Mystic Aquarium, she is adored by thousands of children nationwide who have come to know her story through her book Bubble Butt,” the release said.
Charlotte’s book tells the story of adventure, danger and compassion, written in a way that children understand.