Sea turtles at an aquarium need spectators to become amorous

Ernie

Cammy and Ernie are a couple of sea turtles at Manchester’s Sea Life aquarium. They were brought together to create offspring. In short, to breed. The staff were optimistic and they were showing signs of being amorous before the coronavirus lockdown. Surprisingly, they fell out during lockdown. The change in behaviour is obvious said Brendan Malone, a senior curator at the facility.

Ernie

Ernie. The photo credit is on the photo.

Cammy started to reject Ernie’s advances. The staff turned to lovemaking experts! They decided to provide them with the best possible meals available to spice up their lives which included Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli. They were served apart because the couple are bickering. The team also provided them with toys in the hope that they would play together. They tried to make them more relaxed by introducing “relaxing shell brushes”.

At the moment, there’s been no improvement reported as far as I can tell. The staff remain optimistic. Although they may have to resort to a trial separation. Cammy is 19-years-of-age and Ernie is 17. Cammy was introduced to the aquarium in 2017 as a mate for Ernie. They have reached sexual maturity.

The big question is why they went off each other without human spectators. The report that I’m reading doesn’t speculate. I would like to. Perhaps it is a simple matter of changing their environment. Perhaps they were used to seeing people outside looking in at them through the glass. This created, for them, a background of activity to which they had become accustomed. The change has disturbed their routines and rhythms. It may have stressed them. Stress stops breeding.

Another possibility is that they actually like the company of people. They may have normalised it having adapted to life in captivity. There is a bigger argument which is that they shouldn’t be there in the first place.

P.S. Ernie was deemed to be overweight in 2014 and was dieted. He likes his food.