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Press: Randy turtle is sent on his way


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Posted by W von Papinešu on April 13, 2003 at 20:54:29:

In Reply to: Press: Love-row turtles moved posted by W von Papinešu on April 11, 2003 at 13:19:37:

THE ARGUS (Sussex, UK) 13 April 03 Randy turtle is sent on his way (Sam Thomson)
Turtle Gulliver is back on his travels after his red-blooded passions led to trouble in his tank.
The giant 29-stone loggerhead turtle just could not keep his flippers off fellow turtles at Brighton Sea Life Centre.
He will now be transferred to a new tank in Birmingham.
Gulliver's passionate urges first got him into hot water two years ago when he was living at Blackpool Tower Aquarium.
He shared a tank for 19 years with a male green turtle called Molokai, a female loggerhead known as Jersey and a female green turtle named Lulu.
However, he was sent to Sussex in shame after repeatedly attempting to mate with the females, a process which is described as "aggressive and prolonged."
He was a bachelor boy alone in his Brighton aquarium up until a few months ago, when Molokai, Lulu and another female arrived to keep him company.
Sadly, the temptations of 28-stone Lulu once again proved too much for Gulliver and staff decided to find him a new home again.
Gulliver is being kept in quarantine for the next few weeks before his move.
Peter Jones, Brighton Sea Life Centre displays curator, said: "We had a long discussion with the vet and decided it was best to split them up.
"The problem was with Gulliver trying to approach all the turtles. He is a bit of a lad.
"In the wild, when marine turtles migrate from their feeding grounds they meet up and mate, then the females leave for the nesting grounds.
"Their mating is quite aggressive and prolonged so the male can actually damage the female if he is constantly trying to mate in a confined space."
Gulliver will be joined in Birmingham by Molokai, who was the first to be moved in a mammoth operation early yesterday morning.
Rising tensions in the tank caused by the two females had seen the males become love rivals but centre staff are confident their relationship will improve without the ladies.
Josie Sutherland, curator of Birmingham Sea Life Centre, said: "We believe this will make Molokai more inclined to stick up for himself and secondly, that the absence of females will make Gulliver less likely to be aggressive."
Mr Jones also believes that having another turtle around will help Gulliver keep calm.
He said: "Gulliver has really improved his own behaviour and seems to be a much happier turtle since he has been with the others.
"So we wanted to keep them in pairs but there was no way we could keep him with the females because he would always be trying to mate."



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