Antiopi the turtle, who has called Sealife Scarborough home for more than 20 years, moves to new aquarium

Antiopi in the ocean tunnel at Sealife Scarborough. (JPI Media/ Richard Ponter)Antiopi in the ocean tunnel at Sealife Scarborough. (JPI Media/ Richard Ponter)
Antiopi in the ocean tunnel at Sealife Scarborough. (JPI Media/ Richard Ponter)

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A turtle who has called Sealife Scarborough home for more than 20 years has moved to a new site to experience its specially-developed turtle beach.

Sealife Scarborough’s Loggerhead Turtle Antiopi has travelled to the south coast to reside in the world’s oldest aquarium, Sealife Brighton.

Antiopi was rescued in 2001 off the coast of Zakynthos, Greece.

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She was badly injured after being struck by a boat and her skull was fractured into three pieces. Sadly, due to neurological issues, Antiopi could not be released back into the wild and so, following rehabilitation in Athens, she became a much loved part of the Sealife family.

Antiopi at Sealife Brighton. (Merlin Entertainments/ Sealife)Antiopi at Sealife Brighton. (Merlin Entertainments/ Sealife)
Antiopi at Sealife Brighton. (Merlin Entertainments/ Sealife)

Thanks to the Sealife team, Antiopi has thrived in Scarborough, making the ocean display her home for more than 20 years and delighting both visitors to the centre and the animal care team who look after her.

However, the time has come for her to spread her flippers and she has safely arrived at Sealife Brighton after being moved by a specialist animal transporter.

The move is to provide Antiopi with the opportunity to use a specially-developed turtle beach alongside Sealife Brighton’s resident Green sea turtles, Lulu and Gulliver.

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Andy Turner, general manager of Sealife Scarborough, said: “We’re sad to see Antiopi leave as she is a firm favourite with our visitors and team.

Antiopi at Sealife Brighton with green turtles Lulu and Gulliver. (Merlin Entertainments/ Sealife)Antiopi at Sealife Brighton with green turtles Lulu and Gulliver. (Merlin Entertainments/ Sealife)
Antiopi at Sealife Brighton with green turtles Lulu and Gulliver. (Merlin Entertainments/ Sealife)

"Animal welfare is always our top priority and we are always striving to learn and develop to provide the best care possible for all our animals.

“It’s important for Antiopi to trial using the specially-developed turtle beach at the Brighton aquarium.

"We’ll monitor her progress with the Sealife Brighton team and hope to develop a working turtle beach of our own.

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“We will be keeping our visitors updated with how she gets on down in Brighton – we just hope she sends us a postcard!”

Sealife Brighton is also home to Black Tip Reef sharks and stingrays as well as Green sea turtles Lulu and Gulliver.

The pair are the oldest sea turtles in any aquarium in the world and will be celebrating their 82nd birthday this month.

Neil Harris, general manager of Sealife Brighton, said: “It has been great to welcome Antiopi to the ocean tank and she is settling into her new environment really well.

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"The team have been so excited to meet Scarborough’s resident celebrity Loggerhead turtle and Antiopi is being made to feel at home in Brighton.

"We look forward to guests meeting her when they visit.

"To get even closer, guests can now book our VIP Turtle Feeding Time experience and see them from above the water in our Glass Bottom Boat.”

Visitors to Sealife Scarborough can still spot the Humboldt Penguins and meet four resident seals – Pendle, Boo, Ed and Mando – along with many more sea creatures at the centre.

You can find out more at the attractions website here.