Meet Fletch’s Friends
Fletch spends time traveling around the world meeting great friends along the way. Below are some of the friends Fletch made on this ongoing journey. Be sure and visit Fletch’s friends’ websites to learn more about them.
Hi Friends! I’m Dr. SCI-Fun, the official representative of the South Florida Science Center’s programs and birthday parties. I’ve been having fun at the Science Center for many years, helping to educate the public and support our mission to “Open Every Mind to Science.” The world of science is fascinating and I love sharing it with others!
Palmer The Panther
In 1991, Palm Beach State College’s Board of Trustess officially changed the mascot from the Pacers, a harness racing horse, to the Panthers. Later around 2011 a call to students, alumni, faculty, and staff was made to name the mascot and Palmer was born.
Palmer is the definition of a cool cat. He is a fun-loving, and sly character often using his agility to sneak up on students for a quick picture – or prank depending on his mood. He loves to hang out in the Panther’s Den Student Lounge with other PBSC students. When he is not cooling off inside, Palmer likes to slink around campus and encourage student involvement with clubs, organizations, and events across our five beautiful campuses.
Palmer embodies what it means to have Panther Pride as he is always decked out in Green and Gold. He is the most popular panther around and is requested to be at the best of Palm Beach State events. Don’t hesitate to stop Palmer for a picture if you see him out in public, he is very photogenic and cuddly – just watch out for his claws!
Book: The Cat in the Hat
Movie: The Pink Panther
TV Show: My Cat From Hell
Actress: Eartha Kitt
Song: Eyes of a Panther by Steel Panther
Gilly the Shark
I’m Gilly, the official ambassador for Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium! My job is to educate people of all ages about why sharks are vital to our oceans. Without sharks, our ecosystem would lose its balance.
You can find me working numerous events throughout the year because I like to teach people of all ages about Mote’s shark research programs. Our scientists study the health of sharks, as well as their movement and behavior in the ocean. They also promote the conservation of shark populations, because sharks are necessary for a healthy environment. How fascinating!
Shelley the Sea Turtle
Shelley here! I am the official representative for Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation & Research Program. I am honored to speak on the behalf of my fellow sea turtles. I work hard to educate the public on the importance of sea turtles, and what we can do to achieve our goal of keeping them safe. Representing Mote is exciting! I get to attend events like Run for the Turtles and the Siesta Key Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Competition. My favorite part about these events is that all the proceeds benefit the Sea Turtle Conservation & Research Program.
Ollie the Otter
My name is Ollie and I am the official representative for “Otters & Their Waters: Exploring a Florida Ecosystem,”which is a special exhibit featuring North American river otters, like me! My friends Huck, Pippi, and Jane were orphaned too young to survive on their own. Thankfully, Mote Aquarium gave my friends a place to call home. My job is to educate people of all ages on the importance of our natural habitat, watersheds (lands that drain water toward rivers), estuaries and the sea. You “otter” visit this exhibit at Mote Aquarium!
You can learn more about Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium on our website here >>
Mia the Manatee is Manatee Lagoons water-loving mascot from the shallow Florida waters, sharing manatee facts and inspiration for all land and sea creatures. Explore Mia’s migration adventure as she travels from north to south and learn something new about manatees every day.
Take a look around to learn about our favorite gentle giant and track the best places to spot manatees yourself! Kids, parents, educators and visitors to Florida can join Mia and her friends on Facebook at Facebook.com/ManateeLagoon and Instagram at @ManateeLagoon, for daily facts, photos and fun!
Owlsley is Florida Atlantic’s biggest fan! You can spot this Owl supporting the FAU athletic program both at home and away games. Owlsley loves to cheer on the men’s basketball team, the baseball team and the football team, as well as attend other special events around campus. You will also see him support his fellow Owls at soccer and volleyball matches, women’s basketball games and softball, just to name a few!
When Owlsley isn’t chilling at the Burrow, he is out in the community showing his Owl Pride. He participates in charity events, weddings, school events and birthday parties in the Palm Beach County area and throughout the state.
When FAU teams advance to post-season tournaments, Owlsley goes to show his support. He can be seen on local and national television channels such as Sun Sports, ESPN and Owl TV.
Owlsley keeps his feathers in top shape by working out twice a week. On top of all this, Owlsley makes sure to excel academically by maintaining a strong GPA and a minimum of 12-15 credit hours.
LUCKY T TURTLE
Hi Fletch, Lucky T Turtle here from the Reef HQ Aquarium in Townsville, Australia.
It was great to read all about the Loggerhead Marinelife Center and what you do there, AWESOME WORK!
Here at the Reef HQ Aquarium, we don’t have the number of annual guests that you do. We average about 140,000 a year and we hope all our guests leave with a better understanding about the care and protection of the Great Barrier Reef and sea turtles.
Now let’s talk about my home the Reef HQ Aquarium. It’s the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium and the Australian Government’s national education center for the Great Barrier Reef. We provide an outstanding Great Barrier Reef experience through education, inspiration and entertainment. This is achieved by providing world class living exhibits complemented by a thematic and interactive educational experience that raises awareness and encourages behavior changes that will help protect the Great Barrier Reef.
The Reef HQ Aquarium turtle hospital provides a dedicated facility where sick and injured sea turtles can be cared for and rehabilitated. Our patients are mainly Green Sea Turtles like me Lucky T Turtle. But, did you know that 6 of the 7 species of sea turtles are found in the Great Barrier Reef region, and 5 of those species are cared for by the turtle hospital. The hospital operates under and promotes the C.A.R.E (Conserve. Act. Rehabilitate. Educate) philosophy playing a key role in raising community awareness in relation to threatened species and encouraging behavioral changes that contributes to nature conservation. Our guests love visiting the turtle hospital.
Lots of turtle high 5’s
Lucky T Turtle
Cara Caretta (CC)
Hi! My name is Cara Caretta and I am a female Loggerhead sea turtle. The scientific name for Loggerheads is Caretta caretta, so it’s easy to see how I got my name. All my friends just like to call me “CC” for short. I live in Volusia County, Florida, which is home to Daytona Beach, also known as the World’s Most Famous Beach, and the Marine Science Center, which is located in beautiful Ponce Inlet.
Female Loggerhead sea turtles, like me, lay their nests here between May and October every summer. We have about 500 nests laid each year in Volusia County. In fact, I actually hatched from an egg on these beaches, and now that I am old enough to reproduce, I come back every summer to lay my eggs.
I also spend a lot of time at the Marine Science Center for special events such as our annual Turtle Day in April. The Center has a sea turtle and bird rehabilitation hospital and a lot of coastal-themed educational displays, fish tanks and even a sting ray touch tank! I always feel right at home with all of my ocean friends. I especially like to visit my sick sea turtle friends who are patients at the hospital.
One of my other favorite things to do is visit beachside hotels to educate employees about ways to keep our beach clean and safe for sea turtles who come to nest here every year. These employees can then help educate the millions of visitors who stay at the hotels and visit our beautiful beaches. When everyone helps each other out, we all have a better life! My motto is play safe, protect wildlife, respect the beach!
I hope to see you in Volusia County someday!
Chukker the Polo Pony
Hello There! Chukker Here!
I’m Chukker the polo pony, and I’m the official mascot of the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Do you know why I’m called Chukker? No, it is not because I like to chuck things at visitors around the stable. A polo match is divided into time periods called chukkers, and there are six chukkers in a match, each lasting 7 ½ minutes. Therefore, when I came to life, I was named Chukker! Polo players depend on the skill, stamina, speed, and intellect of their polo pony to stay in control of the ball, and to score goals to win a match. I may be fast, but I slow down for my friend Fletch, because he moves at a slower pace.
My favorite time of year is during the winter polo season at the International Polo Club, which is known as the premier polo facility in the world. I love the action on the field and all the fans who come out to watch the world’s most elite polo players compete. There is live entertainment, lots of fashionable people, a great champagne brunch, and nice families. We also have a Kids’ Zone at Sunday polo matches, where children are entertained with games, sports, arts and crafts, face painting, and bounce houses. I love hugs from all the kids, and even pretty people like to have their picture taken with me. I also like sharing the sport of polo in the community, so I often visit places where local kids hang out such as the Boys & Girls Club, a little league match, or a school event. I was even invited to be in the school parade! Please come visit me at a polo match. The annual winter polo season runs for 17 weeks from January to April. To see the schedule and plan your day, visit our website at InternationalPoloClub.com.
Zoo Squad – Kaz, Pio and Gigi!
The Zoo Squad at Zoo Miami: Kaz the black rhino, Pio the red-billed oxpecker and Gigi the giraffe will delight you with their charm, unique personalities, lovable looks and good work! The zoo squad will entertain you and enhance your visit to the zoo so you will share in their appreciation for the world’s wildlife and the need to protect it for future generations.
Kaz, the only specially trained Black Rhino in the world, assists rhino protection staff in Africa and other law-enforcement personnel in their efforts to stop rhino poaching. Also known as a “K-Rhino,” Kaz is much like a “K-9” dog who has come to Zoo Miami on official training conservation business. He serves as an ambassador to the thousands of dedicated, passionate rangers in Africa, standing in between the rhinos and the poachers in Operation Stop Poaching Now, a real program that Zoo Miami supports through the International Rhino Foundation.
Pio, a red-billed oxpecker from Africa, came to Zoo Miami (unbeknownst!) when Kaz was in transport. Pio was busy cleaning Kaz’s ear so no one saw him. Kaz has had Pio with him for as long as he can remember. Kaz recognizes that Pio helps him out a lot by keeping the pests off him, but sometimes he just wants some peace and quiet from all of the jokes Pio is always telling.
Gigi, born on a hunting reserve in Africa, was saved when she was adopted through the Zoological Society of Florida’s Adopt-An-Animal program. As the spokes giraffe and animal ambassador for the program, Gigi is well-rounded in the arts and loves adventures too! Her hobbies include, but are not limited to: acting, gardening, cooking, drawing, photography, painting and dancing. She enjoys ballet so much that she wears her ballet slippers even in bed!
Be on the LOOKOUT for the Zoo Squad at Zoo Miami!
Sippi the River Otter
Hello friends, it’s me, Sippi the River Otter! I’m very excited to be friends with Fletch and meet everyone he knows! I love hanging out with all of our visitors here at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, as well as hanging out with all of my river buddies. Otters like me are able to live in all types of weather, especially in places with colder winters like Iowa, because of our fur. We have soft fur to keep us warm, but on top of that we have thick, short hair that protects us from the cold water and it helps us move through the water better. We otters love to play, and it teaches us important survival skills, but mainly we play just because we love fun! I love to play with our visitors, and we share a lot of hugs! You can find me at events like Ice Fest and the Children’s Party, and sometimes I get to go out into the city and represent the Museum at city functions!
The National River Museum & Aquarium is located on the Mississippi River in the city of Dubuque, Iowa. Dubuque is the oldest city in Iowa, and it has a long history with the Mississippi. We here at the Museum strive to teach visitors not only about the animals, but about the history behind both our city and the second largest river in the United States. You can meet many animals here, like catfish, beavers, turtles, alligators and two other river otters like me! There are two parts of the River Museum; one has animals and fish from the Mississippi, and the second one houses animals and fish that are along the Gulf and in the salty ocean water. We even have a 3-D/4-D theater, a one of a kind experience that can only be found in Dubuque! If you want a cool adventure, you can check out the William M. Black paddle boat that is docked right outside the Museum in the harbor. They have tours available, and you can even spend the night abroad the boat.
You can check out more about our Museum by visiting ourwebsite, or liking our page on Facebook. My friends and I here at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium look forward to meeting you and we hope you get a chance to stop by!
Paperboy has been delivering the news to Florida Weekly’s readers since moving to Florida in 2009. Originally from Canada — his father was Youppi, the Montreal Canadians mascot — Paperboy yearned for sandy beaches and tropical breezes. But he thought his Press ID was the same as a passport so he mailed himself across the border and has been evading immigration authorities ever since.
An avid moviegoer, some say he’s seen “Citizen Kane” 1,247 times and that he thought “Star Wars” was a documentary. Today, he rules a media empire in South Florida with his stunning good looks, charming wit and a bag full of news.
Buddy the Seahorse
“Buddy” the Seahorse is the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Palm Beach County’s new mascot. Seahorses actually live in the waters of South Florida, they have mates for life (so they are always with a buddy) and they aren’t great swimmers (hence “Buddy” wearing a life jacket).
Buddy’s job is to help the Coalition bring to light the importance of “Being Water Smart & Water Safe” by always swimming with a buddy and never swimming alone. In addition, Buddy wants to emphasize that water recreation is fun, but this fun can turn tragic if the necessary safety precautions aren’t taken. Learn the ABCDs of water safety. A – Adult Supervision, Always Swim w/ a Buddy, B – Bathroom, Backyard, Barriers, Boating and Beach safety, C – Classes in learning to swim and CPR, D – Drain Safety and Driving Safety. Buddy encourages everyone to visit the Coalition website at www.pbcgov.org/dpc to learn more about the ABCDs.
Buddy doesn’t have his own Facebook page yet but he is very prevalent on the Coalition’s page.
Niretta The Caretta
Hi! I’m Niretta the Caretta, a loggerhead sea turtle representing MEDASSET – the Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles. I love to swim in the Mediterranean Sea, eat jellyfish with my strong jaws, and most of all, teach kids about conservation! Since I was born in 2008, I have met thousands of students, gone to hundreds of festivals, concerts, aquariums and other events, inspired a school play about sea turtles, and even been on TV in Greece a couple of times. If anyone needs to hear about conservation of sea turtles and their habitats, you can bet I’ll be there!
I’m from the Greek island of Zakynthos in the Mediterranean Sea, but other loggerheads live all over the world in the shallow waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. I have a big head, a heart-shaped carapace (or shell) and nest at intervals of 2 to 4 years. Like most species of sea turtles, I am endangered, which means there is a high risk that I will be extinct in the wild in the future. That’s why I like to teach everyone about the easy ways we can help out the sea turtles and their ocean habitats!
Seamore here and I am super excited to meet you and all your mates! I’m a Loggerhead sea turtle and have the very important job of representing a new non-profit conservation center, the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center (NBSTCC) here in Navarre Beach, Florida. As their mascot I work to build relationships within the community to bring awareness to the Center and its mission to save sea turtles.
I enjoy talking turtle with everyone I meet and work to educate them on the global plight of sea turtles and on our local sea turtle population. It’s my hope that everyone I meet will walk away with an understanding of the threats facing sea turtles, why sea turtles are important to our marine environment and how they can have a positive impact on sea turtles’ survival! We’re a brand new facility, still getting our flippers wet but making big waves in our area with the addition of our residential sea turtle pool. We’re excited to give a forever home to non-releasable sea turtles who need our TLC! Our new friends will help us introduce and educate others on sea turtles. Because of this very important job, I spend my days hanging around the Center greeting visitors, talking turtle and encouraging others to become good stewards for our marine environment.
When the opportunity arises, I also like to participate in community events, it’s always good to stretch the flippers a bit! Some of my turtlely favorites are the Kids Fun Run/Run for the Reef, the Amazing Race for Survival and Boo at the Zoo with the Gulf Breeze Zoo. It’s always great fun and helps me make lots of new friends! Plus it truly tickles my shell to see all the turtle costumes/outfits at these events! I hope to get down your way and take you up on the invitation to tour the LMC and that crab lunch! Perhaps you would even consider a visit to see us one day, two sea turtle mates is always better than one!
Please visit our Facebook page to see my latest adventures!
Officer Snook Water Pollution Program:
Hi Kids! Officer Snook here, hoping that you can help me stop water pollution! Our waters once blue and clear are now filling with pollution – and it makes me shed a tear! My program, the Officer Snook Water Pollution Program, is part of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Sea Partner Campaign. We have educated millions of people across the country since my program began in 1993. Through the Program, people learn about the causes, effects of and solutions to water pollution.
The Program also provides opportunities for people of all ages to protect our environment through cleanups, storm drain stenciling programs, tree planting events, and many other fun activities. So please join me and my animal friends in helping prevent pollution by throwing your garbage away properly and by telling others not to pollute the water! We need your help!
Kia ora and Gidday! I am Sir Fin, the mascot of the National Aquarium of New Zealand. I live in Napier which is a cool place for sharks like me, right on the edge of Hawkes Bay in the Pacific Ocean. I love to meet visitors who come to the aquarium or at special events like Seaweek, Art Deco week and Conservation week. Like many sharks I turn up where you least expect me!
I often dress up to rise to the occasion and you might see me in my leather jacket, Santa hat or straw boater hat. Visitors love to take photos with me as I am so dapper!
I share my home in the National Aquarium with lots of native and exotic animals. The exotics include piranha from the Amazon River, alligators from North America, water dragons from Australia and coral reef fish from Indonesia. Besides me the biggest attractions from New Zealand are the two kiwi, lots of slimy, long finned eels and five tuatara. Although the kiwi and tuatara live on land and they tend to hide in burrows, they are pretty interesting creatures. Did you know the kiwi come out at night? Strange idea, but true!
Oh, I almost forgot our 1,500,000 litre Oceanarium tank with lots of fish from Hawkes Bay. My cousins the sting ray and heaps of other shark buddies live in that tank. You can ride through the clear tunnel on the travelator to see them all. It’s lots of fun!
One of my goals is to let people know how important sharks are to the world’s oceans. We might be a little scary but we have our purpose in nature. Many people kill us for silly reasons. Do you know that some people catch us and cut our fins off for soup? Then they throw us back in the sea and think we will survive. Not a good thing for a shark to lose its fins as then we can’t swim. What a pity!
Help me save the sharks by spreading the word of how cool and important we are! And come and see me sometime soon at the National Aquarium of New Zealand
Ka kite ano!
Sammy Sailfish & Sammi Sailfish (City of Stuart)
Hi there boys and gills! My name is Sammy Sailfish and this is my twin sister Sammi (Samantha) Sailfish and we are mascots in sunny City of Stuart, Florida surrounded by the beautiful St. Lucie River. My favorite thing to do is to teach people about RECYCLING and my sister, Sammi enjoys doing the same with WATER CONSERVATION. We are so happy to be friends with Fletch and share in his environmental message.
We sailed into Stuart because it has long been known as “The Sailfish Capital of the World” and we knew that was where we belong. I work hard every day to get people “hooked” on recycling by going to schools, participating in local events and parades or anywhere I can to get the recycling word out. My single stream recycling program has increased recycling in the City by 88%! Sammi Sailfish is quite a catch when it comes to water conservation! She also participates in school lessons and events and even hosted her own Water Fest last year, it was a huge hit! We always put forth our best fin in trying to stay on the minds of those in our community. Stuart is a great place and really works hard to be an environmentally friendly place to live, work and play. We hope you will come visit us one day!
Splish & Splash
We’re Splish and Splash from Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth, Minnesota and we think we otter be friends. We river otters took up residence in Duluth in the year 2000, for the opening of the Aquarium, and have been official mascots ever since.
Great Lakes Aquarium, situated on Duluth’s waterfront, inspires people to explore their connection with Lake Superior and the waters of the world.
A freshwater aquarium, GLA features animals and habitats found within the Great Lakes Basin. The Aquarium also houses animals from other freshwater ecosystems such as the Amazon River. A changeable exhibit space is designed to interpret marine (saltwater) animals and habitat and currently features “Masters of Disguise”. We also house two real river otters named Zhoosh and Anang.
In 2012, Zhoosh and Anang gained media fame as artists. They paint with paws, tails and fur and have sold their works from coast to coast. You can find out more about them and the rest of our animals on our website or by joining our facebook page.
Great Lakes Aquarium provides on-site and outreach educational programming to learners of all ages. It’s a great place to be, to learn and explore.
As for us, Splish and Splash, you can find us at special events at the Aquarium, parades, races, youth fairs, and street festivals. We would love to have you visit us in Minnesota on the shores of beautiful Lake Superior. Witness the wonder. Experience the fun.
Bee Bop Beluga
The Vancouver Aquarium is non-profit society dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life.
Bee Bop Beluga is a proud ambassador for the Vancouver Aquarium, and one of our many touch points with the community.
Beluga whales, like Bee Bop, live in the Arctic and sub-arctic waters of the world and have an insulating layer of blubber that is usually 10 – 15 cm thick to protect them against the cold temperatures. Belugas communicate with a wide range of sounds: clicks, chirps, grunts, squeals, screeches and whistles. Interestingly, they use the sounds they produce to find their food by emitting clicks from their nasal passages. These clicks travel through water and bounce off objects including ice, food, or the ocean floor. Belugas listen for the echoes of these clicks to determine where their food is located.
Learn more about beluga whales and over 50,000 other amazing sea creatures at the Vancouver Aquarium.
Sandy the Shark
Hello! My name is Sandy the Shark and I live at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. My home was recently built and the doors just opened in January of 2012. I love when people stop by to visit me and my friends at the aquarium. When kids decide to have their birthday parties here at the GCA I love to swim on over and say, “Happy Birthday!” Not only am I big birthday party fan, but I also love to go out to the wonderful communities around Cleveland and educate people on the GCA and its inhabitants. My fin and I have been spotted all around Cleveland!
Recently what I’ve been driven to do is lead an educational campaign on the effects of the shark finning industry. Did you know that 2,500 sharks are killed every 30 minutes from the finning industry? This is a very scary statistic that some people have never heard before. See, I feel that it is important to educate the public on the effects of shark finning because we have more than 15 sharks at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium and all sharks are beautiful, right?
I am a very friendly shark who loves to educate and of course, I always have a time to smile for a photo. Make sure to stop on by next time you are in Cleveland. For more information on my wonderful home in Cleveland, please visit: greaterclevelandaquarium.com or www.facebook.com/cleaquarium/
Hi, I’m Puffin! I am the mascot for the National Aquarium, and I’m thrilled to be friends with Fletch. Did you know that Puffins are sometimes called “parrots of the sea” or “clowns of the sea”? Well I’m no parrot, but I can definitely be seen clowning around with my friends here at the National Aquarium! Being a puffin, I’m very active during the day. You can often spot me showing off with a little dance or exploring the other amazing animals and exhibits with guests.
Puffins typically live in the northern New England and in Arctic regions but I’ve decided to make Baltimore, Maryland my home. I’ve made a lot of local friends because I’m the same colors as the state flag; my large, triangular-shaped bill is red-orange and yellow, and I have black upperparts with white underneath. Although my fellow Marylanders love to eat crabs, my favorite food is fish. The National Aquarium keeps me and my fellow puffins in the Sea Cliffs exhibit well fed with our favorite foods. Guests can even join staff for a daily feedings!
The next time you visit the National Aquarium, join me for an adventure through one of our exhibits (or just for a hug)! Hope we can be friends just like me and Fletch!
Edie the Blue Whale
My name is Edie and I am a female blue whale that hangs out in the Great Hall at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California. Blue whales are the largest animals to have ever lived on Earth. My tongue is as big as an elephant and my heart is the size of a small car! I am 88 feet long. Edison, my baby (known as a calf), is by my side and we welcome everyone as they walk in to visit the 11,000 animals representing the Pacific Ocean that live at the Aquarium. The Aquarium of the Pacific celebrates the planet’s largest and most diverse body of water: the Pacific Ocean. Its three main galleries explore the waters of Southern California and Baja, the Northern Pacific, and the Tropical Pacific.
In the wild, blue whales migrate up and down the West Coast of the United States. We mostly eat tiny shrimp-like creatures called krill that we trap in our baleen plates. Although there are about 90 species of krill, we prefer just two of them. When we’re eating, our throats expand to take in about 17,000 gallons of water filled with krill in a single gulp! The krill is trapped in the baleen, then we spit the water back out. We eat about 7,715 pounds of krill per day!
Blue whales can also communicate with each other over great distances. A female blue whale in Hawaii can hear the song of a male calling from California. At the Aquarium, visitors can hear the sounds of the blue whale and learn more about all different kinds of whales at the Whales: Voices in the Sea exhibit kiosk.
People who come to Long Beach to visit the Aquarium of the Pacific can go on whale watching tours that leave right from the docks next to the Aquarium. Prime time for spotting blue whales is in the summer and early fall months. We hope you come visit us!
Freddy the Friendly Alligator
Hello! My name is “Freddy the Friendly Alligator” and I’m the South Florida Water Management District’s (SFWMD) warm and fuzzy mascot. What? You don’t think a reptile can be warm and fuzzy? Just like Fletch, I have a sensitive and fun side, too. Come on and give me a chance! I expect a big hug if you see me at an environmental event. I’m usually there supporting my water management district buddies who love to share stories about what we do to protect the Everglades and how you can reduce your water use.
You’ve probably seen my smiling face on lots of signs in South Florida when you ride across a canal or river. The SFWMD operates and maintains those waterways so they work the way they are supposed to – moving water away from homes and businesses when it rains really hard…and moving available water around to recharge underground supplies when it’s very dry. That’s one of the reasons they picked me to be their mascot! Alligators are natural water managers. We dig deep holes in the Everglades and when a drought strikes, our “gator holes” provide water and food not only for us, but for many other plants and animals, too.
To learn more about the Everglades and water conservation, visit the South Florida Water Management District website at www.sfwmd.gov. For kids of all ages, there’s a special page just for educational materials and links that are fun and informative. Check it out here. And if you prefer your information in smaller bites, you can always follow us on Twitter @SFWMD.
IMPORTANT: Please remember that real alligators are dangerous animals and, according to Florida law, it is illegal to feed or harass them. Never attempt to give food or touch an alligator in the wild.
Sandy the loggerhead sea turtle
As you can see from my nametag, I’m Sandy. My official title is Sandy the loggerhead sea turtle, but I’m cool with just Sandy. My job at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is to make a name for myself because I represent all the endangered loggerhead sea turtles. I was made to accurately reflect a loggerhead but I’m just a little out of proportion to even the biggest ones! I’m big so I can greet guests of all ages and sizes. And I must admit, I usually attract huge crowds. I’m usually saved for special Aquarium events, and sometimes my beloved City of Virginia Beach will ask me to make a special appearance. I might add that I am thrilled that Fletch has asked me to be his friend. After all, us sea turtles are getting so scarce, we’ve got to support one another.
But enough about me, let me tell you about the Virginia Aquarium. The Aquarium has over 800,000 gallons of aquariums and live animal habitats focusing on Virginia’s diverse and unique marine environment. With more than 300 hands-on exhibits, a nature trail, an aviary, two animal touch pools and a 3D IMAX® theater, a visit to the Aquarium can be fun and educational. That’s why we have over 600,000 visitors a year! The Aquarium also helps out my fellow sea turtles and marine mammals with its Stranding Response Program.
Myrtle the Turtle
I’m more than 80 years old, weigh about 550 pounds and have been greeting visitors to Boston’s New England Aquarium for decades now. Hey there! My name is Myrtle, resident green sea turtle of the Giant Ocean Tank. I like to be near the action, and food, in the 200,000-gallon tank every day, so you can often find me underfoot (or fin) of one of the scuba divers. Squid is my favorite snack, though I stay healthy with a diet of lettuce, Brussels sprouts and other fresh veggies. I’m a sucker for a good back scratch, and I take lots of naps nestled in the coral of my home tank.
Even though I am a bit of a homebody, I love posting stories about turtles on my facebook page—including the heroics of the Aquarium’s Marine Animal Rescue Team. Every winter, volunteers scoop up dozens of hypothermic sea turtles from cold beaches on Cape Cod. Our rescue team rehabilitates the turtles (mostly Kemp’s ridleys and green sea turtles—like me, only much smaller), then releases them during the summer.
Dr. Sylvia Earle
Dr. Sylvia Earle is a world-renowned ocean conservationist, oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer with experience as a field research scientist. Earl is a Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society, founder of the Mission Blue Foundation, Chair of the Advisory Council for the Harte Research Institute and the Marine Science and Technology Foundation, and former Chief Scientist of NOAA. She was named Time magazine’s first “Hero for the Planet,” a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, and a 2009 winner of the TED Prize. Earle has pioneered research on marine ecosystems and has led more than 100 expeditions totaling more than 7,000 hours underwater.
Earle is author of more than 175 scientific, technical, and popular publications, including The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean’s Are One and Ocean: An Illustrated Atlas. Her research places special emphasis on marine plants and ecosystems, and the development of technology for access and research in the deep sea.
She played a key role in bringing about increased support for U.S. National Marine Sanctuaries during the Clinton administration in 1999, and later helped inspire George W. Bush to designate vast tracts of American-controlled Pacific Ocean islands, reefs, surface waters, and sea floor as marine national monuments, limiting fishing, mining, and oil exploration. Today, she is leading a global effort to develop networks of protected areas in the sea—“Hope Spots”—large enough to protect the blue heart of the planet.
Aqua Kids ®
Aqua Kids ® is an award-winning children’s program dedicated to educating young people about the importance of protecting marine environments and the animals that live there. The show motivates young people to take an active role in ecological conservation and preservation. Whether it’s saving sea turtles or participating in beach cleanups, the Aqua Kids ® demonstrate the real and lasting contributions children can make in protecting the future of their community and the world.
You can make a difference – just take the first step
and get involved in protecting the marine environment!
Winter the Dolphin
At only three months of age, Winter found herself wrapped tightly in a crab trap line and was unable to escape. She was rescued and transported to Clearwater Marine Aquarium to begin a long rehabilitation.
Unfortunately, Winter lost her entire tail as well as two vertebrae from the serious injuries. Visit Winter and learn more at: seewinter.com.
Scute C. Turtle
Hi! My name is Scute C. Turtle and I am the Georiga Sea Turtle Center’s mascot. I am a juvenile loggerhead sea turtle and I love telling people about sea turtles and the ways that they can help us.
Wondering how I got the name Scute? Well, the scales on a sea turtle’s head and shell are called scutes. These scutes are made of the same material as your hair and fingernails, keratin. Pretty clever, huh?
Here at the GSTC, I attend education programs and special events, pose for pictures, help the other staff when needed. I love working here!
The GSTC Staff help sick and injured turtles through research, conservation, and rehabilitation. We get them all better we release them back into the wild. To learn more about the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, please visit our website at www.georgiaseaturtlecenter.org.
Mr. Leatherback is a life-sized leatherback sea turtle representing a species that is Critically Endangered. He is a huggable and photogenic ambassador for turtles and marine conservation who delights children and adults around the world.
In his own words “An adventurous world traveler. The James Bond of the animal kingdom. The largest reptile on Earth.”
Mr. Leatherback’s goal is to “save my species by befriending humans,” and in his ambassadorial role has visited the pyramids of Giza in Egypt; the Space Needle in Seattle; the Coliseum in Rome; the United States Capitol; the Great Wall of China; India’s Taj Mahal; and New York City’s Statue of Liberty, to name just a few locations. Mr. Leatherback also made a stop at the 2011 TurtleFest this past April and spent some time with LMC mascot, Fletch.
Mr. Leatherback believes that individuals have the power to change the course for sea turtles by making simple changes in their lives. Visit Mr. Leatherback’s web site for more information: www.mrleatherback.com
Ollie the Otter
My name is Ollie the Otter and I am the mascot for the South Carolina Aquarium. I am a pretty popular dude amongst the kiddies here. Kids of all ages can bring artifacts like, fossils, shells, sharks teeth, rocks, and so much more to my pad at the Aquarium, Ollie’s Trading Post. Then we trade their cool stuff for my cool stuff all right here. Pretty awesome, right?!
If you don’t find me at the Trading Post, you might be able to catch me hanging around the Aquarium’s education classrooms trying to learn as much as I can about our environment. I think education is very important and how many people can say that they took a class with an otter?
Most of the time, you’ll find me walking around the Great Hall listening to my headphones. What do I like to listen to, you may wonder? Well, my favorite things are ocean breezes and waterfall sounds that remind me of home, and occasionally you may find me listening to a little Justin Beaver. His sounds of chewing on plants, wood, and building his home are awesome!
I am super excited to be a Friend of Fletch! Otters and turtles make the best of friends from what I hear. I mean, we already have a lot in common! We both love swimming, candy bars, and music! What more could a friend ask for?
When Fletch made his roadtrip up north in September 2013, Ollie was out of town so Fletch had an opportunity to meet with Ollie’s best friend, Alabaster the albino alligator.
On Fletch’s next visit, to South Carolina Aquarium in September 2015, Ollie was out of town again, so Fletch met Ollie’s new friends Miles and Bob the stuffed shark, mascots for the new Shark Shallow exhibit.
You can learn more about the South Carolina Aquarium on our website here >>
Hi, I’m Sharkee Shark and I’m the official Mascot for Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, SC. I am really excited Fletch has asked me to be his friend!
I represent what I think is the greatest family entertainment attraction anywhere! Ripley’s Aquarium has been in Myrtle Beach since 1997 located at the Broadway at the Beach complex. Not only is it a fun place to be at, we provide a lot of educational programs as well.
“Ripley’s Aquarium’s mission is “to provide a top quality, world-class, marine life facility that will foster environmental education, conservation and research, while simultaneously providing entertainment for visitors of all ages.”
During the summer months you will see me at the aquarium everyday! I also visit several of our local resorts each week as well. I also participate in charity events throughout the year. And each year I get to ride with Santa on his float here at Broadway at the Beach!
On Fletch’s visit in 2015, to Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, Sharkee introduces Fletch to his friend Jellie, mascot for the new Planet Jellies exhibit.
Yes I do have fun, but my primary mission is to bring awareness to the visitors here about all our aquarium has to offer. So if ever in Myrtle Beach come by and visit us! You can also check the aquarium out at www.ripleyaquariums.com/myrtlebeach/ or you can check us out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RipleysAquariumMyrtleBeach.
Hey there! My name is Deepo and I am one of the mascots for the Georgia Aquarium. I’m named after Home Depot because Bernie Marcus, the co- founder of Home Depot, contributed 250 million dollars to build our Aquarium. Being a garibaldi damselfish, I am very active during the day and love giving hugs and high fins to all the kids!
In the world’s largest aquarium, some of my hobbies include hanging with my friends Alice the whale shark and Beethoven the beluga whale. One of my new friends is a dolphin- and stars in our new AT&T Dolphin Tales show! I also love making appearances at our Camp H20 summer camp, teaching kids about all the thousands of neat species that live in the ocean with me. Our vision is to be the most engaging aquarium experience, and I’m happy to be a part of inspiring guests to care for our oceans!
I am just a state away from Fletch down in Florida and would love to meet you this summer! Come swim by and say hi!
Gill the Shark
Gill is a typical kid – energetic, playful and curious about the ocean world that surrounds him. He isn’t the biggest shark in the sea, but he’s got big dreams, so he knows one day he’ll be the top fish on the food chain. Gill’s biggest idol and role model is his dad, who works as an ambassador to the human world, circling the globe and stopping at seaports to share his vast knowledge and fearless spirit with adventurers everywhere. Gill’s mom has had plenty of adventures of her own, but now prefers to stay closer to home, where she can work on perfecting her quirky (but very tasty) sushi recipes.
Gill spends a lot of his time snooping around the reef with his ever-present camera always at the ready, taking on the role of a “Private Fish-Eye” – uncovering the facts about fishy characters in the neighborhood. Even when he’s not “working” as an amateur detective, Gill’s the kind of kid who asks a million questions a day. He has so much energy, though, that he won’t always hang around long enough to hear the answer.
Gill likes to take a “fins on” approach to learning. Instead of studying, he likes to explore, eagerly swimming off to distant grottoes, shipwrecks and reefs to search for artifacts from ancient undersea civilizations. Whenever he gets in trouble, which is often, he manages to charm his way out of a tight spot with his earnest manner and boundless energy. This affable, gregarious sharklet has plenty of pals, and he spends a lot of time with them, playing interactive games, downloading and studying his investigative photos, and keeping up with the latest fish-gossip on the “inter-wet”. Gill talks like a bright, friendly 8-year-old kid. When he stands on his tail fins, he isn’t too tall, but he’s strong and fit (maybe from eating all that sushi!).
Polka Dottie Batfish
Polka Dottie Batfish is the colorful and unusual mascot for the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Naples, Florida. She is modeled after an actual fish species called polka-dot batfish that lives in Rookery Bay waters. The real batfish is a triangular-shaped fish that can grow up to 15 inches long. Despite the bright-colored belly, this species relies on camouflage and slow, stealthy movements to sneak up on food. Several batfish species can be found in sub-tropical waters around the world.
Rookery Bay Reserve is one of 28 NERR’s throughout the United States that teaches people about estuaries—the valuable areas where the river meets the sea. They are among the most productive ecosystems on Earth.
Polka Dottie Batfish greets visitors to the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, where guests enjoy the aquariums, interactive exhibits, walking trails, kayak trips, butterfly garden, art gallery, special events and more. She also loves to meet people during outreach events throughout Collier County, on Florida’s Paradise Coast.
Hi! My name is Aquadie and I’m the New Brunswick Aquarium and Marine Centre mascot! Over here in New Brunswick Canada, the Aquarium is a big deal for our community. Harbor seals are the main attraction and I’m part of the show to the delight of kids and parents alike. My name reflects the aquarium but also the Acadian culture from where I am. The Acadian “Joie de Vivre” is what I’m all about!
So being friends with Fletch is real good news for me and all my friends from the New Brunswick Aquarium and Marine centre; the biggest public aquarium of Canada’s Atlantic provinces.
I hope to see you soon!
For more information, visit www.aquariumnb.ca.
Perky the Penquin
My name is Perky. I’m a penguin. I was born in South Africa, but I have lived in New Jersey at Jenkinson’s Aquarium for 20 years. My favorite foods are ice cream cake and pizza, but I’ll also eat fish and squid sometimes. I enjoy long walks on the beach and birthday parties. Favorite activities include hi-fives, hugs, and dancing.
I love living here on the Jersey Shore. When I was just a chick, my parents told me stories about the beautiful beaches of New Jersey. At night I dreamed of the boardwalk, rides, and the smell of funnel cake. When I learned that an aquarium was opening along the beautiful shoreline in 1991, I knew I had to make the journey above the equator and across the ocean. I fell in love as soon as I arrived. Luckily they hired me right away as a mascot for the aquarium and ambassador for marine wildlife! Now I have a safe place to live, all the ice cream cake and pizza I can eat, and many, many friends!
Hi, my name is Sharky and I live at the SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium! The desert sounds like a strange home for a shark, but not when you are an acclimated Land Shark like me! Meeting new kids at outreach events is my favorite activity, though you will spot me at other SEA LIFE events too. I specialize in high fives and hugs, and have been known to break out some smooth moves on the dance floor!
SEA LIFE Arizona has been a great home to me since May 2010. I have learned vital ways to protect our environment and preserve our oceans, even here in the desert! In early 2012, I will help my friends at SEA LIFE Arizona welcome the first rescued sea turtle to the state. Ziva is a green sea turtle that has been rehabilitating at the Georgia Sea Turtle Hospital. She is unable to be re-released into the ocean, so she will be travelling home to the desert to join the SEA LIFE Arizona family.
I look forward to meeting you at SEA LIFE Arizona! You may also visit my brothers and sisters at other SEA LIFE sites across the United States.
Robbie the Redbird
Robbie the Redbird is the mascot for the Palm Beach Cardinals. He is a Cardinal that hatched in January of 2003 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and was named in a contest with local schools. Robbie the Redbird first flew into Roger Dean Stadium on Friday, March 28th, 2003 prior to the Palm Beach Cardinals first game.
Hamilton R. Head
Hamilton R. Head is the mascot for the Jupiter Hammerheads. He is a land shark that was born in 1998 and named in a contest with local schools. Hamilton R. Head (Ham-r-head for short) first swam into Roger Dean Stadium on April 8th, 1998 prior to the Hammerheads first home game.
Birdsong and the Eco-Wonders
Helping kids love the Earth, one fun song at a time!
Birdsong is a singer/songwriter, and educator who is passionate about nature, children and restoring the Earth for future generations. The Eco-Wonders are the amazing animals and ecosystems that are the themes of her songs. Their mission is to help kids love the Earth so much that they can’t help but want to protect it. Birdsong does it with songs that are fun and have catchy tunes that teach about animals, plants, earth stewardship and the wonders of nature. The music keeps kids singing, dancing and learning to the last note.
Two marine characters “Oxford the Octopus” and “Captain Eco” help engage, educate and inspire kids to be an “Eco-Wonder Hero”.
Birdsong wrote her first children’s song in 2005, “The Tide Pool Song,” as a way to express her love for tide pools and to educate kids about them. The song was an unexpected hit among local children and environmentalists, and soon became the theme song in the Emmy-winning short film, “Tide Pool Scene.” Birdsong saw first-hand how powerful music is in educating kids and engaging them in Earth stewardship.
To experience two inspiring songs/videos, click on the links below.
Blue Friends Society of Loggerhead Marinelife Center
The Blue Friends Society of the Loggerhead Marinelife Center is an active social group of ocean conservation enthusiasts and LMC supporters who meet to network, educate, plan and promote conservation efforts.
Become a member of this dynamic networking social group of ocean conservationists and LMC supporters. The Blue Friends host parties and networking gatherings, plan great events, participate in beach clean-ups, enjoy the outdoors and more!
For more information on the Blue Friends, click here >>
Turkles the Movie – Cast & Crew
Saving the Planet One Turkle at a Time!
The film “Turkles” is an environmental, mystery-comedy. It tells the tale of a group of curious kids from fictitious “Camp Loggerhead,” who embark on an adventure to solve the mystery of who is stealing Loggerhead sea turtle eggs. The bad guys are straight out of “the gang that couldn’t shoot straight,” and it doesn’t take long for the clever kids to catch the clueless culprits.
Visit our Facebook page for more information, click here>>