Happy Birthday Bravo!

Apr 19, 2014

The star of Newport Aquarium's new Turtle Canyon exhibit, Bravo, a 650 pound tortoise, turns 85 Saturday. He was hatched April 19, 1929 on the Ecuadorian island of Santa Cruz. He arrived at the United States as part of the last group of tortoises exported from the Galapagos Islands.

He didn't waste any time celebrating

The largest turtle in the Midwest celebrated  Friday with friends. Newport Aquarium staffers gave him a birthday "cake." It consisted of watermelon, oranges, carrots, broccoli, and lettuce. See more pictures on this WVXU Facebook post.

Coincidentally, Bravo’s primary caretaker, biologist Michelle Fry, was also born on April 19.

Turtle Canyon features more than 14 species from three continents and be housed in the renovated Rainforest exhibit.

One of the smaller turtles on display, a loggerhead sea turtle, was hatched in August in Emerald Isle, North Carolina. The plan is to teach the turtle to swim and to forage for food. Eventually it will be released back into the wild.