KURE BEACH, N.C. — The life of a sea turtle hatchling can be a tough one.
While they hatch year-round, a majority of them do so in the summer months. They use their temporary egg tooth (or carbuncle) to break open the hard shell encasing them. Then, over the course of three to seven days, the little hatchlings dig their way to the beach surface at night to avoid predators that often stalk their prey during the day.
After all that, they slowly make their way to the sea, ready for open waters.
It's not surprising that some little hatchlings don't make it to the ocean. Enter Pip and Scout.
Pip and Scout are two loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings that are now at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.
They are two inches long and weigh less than a half-of-a-pound. The aquarium always cares for hatchlings that didn't quite make the treacherous trek to the water.
Pip and Scout were found during nest excavations at Carolina Beach and Fort Fisher. Staff at the aquarium and students across the Tar Heel State helped name them.
“It is important to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher to foster connections to aquatic life for students, and engaging them in voting for the turtles’ names is a great way to do that," Andy Gould, education curator at the NCAFF. " Inspiring the next generation to tell the story of loggerhead sea turtles like Pip and Scout bolsters our work to save this protected species."
The aquarium hopes their presence at the aquarium will emphasize the facility's mission around conservation efforts. Visitors can see them by purchasing tickets to the aquarium.