Mackenzie Mathews works in the marine fish department at the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks. She decided to be a marine biologist so she could tell people about animals and how best to conserve them for future generations.
She said working at the aquarium has allowed her to have those opportunities. One of her favorite things to do at the aquarium is to interact with Seamore, a 26-year-old, 300-pound loggerhead sea turtle who recognizes her even when she is not taking care of him.
“Recently, I was with my grandparents at the aquarium on one of my days off, and Seamore seemed to recognize me. Even though there was a crowd of people around, he hung out near the window right where I was standing. He kept splashing me! I like to think that he recognized me and was hoping to lure me into giving him another meal. He also comes up to the window in the mornings to greet us, again by splashing.”
Not only does she get the chance to interact with Seamore, but also she can talk with aquarium guests about him.
“He is a good ambassador of why we need to conserve sea turtles because he is on the endangered species list. Before COVID, we had feed shows every day at the aquarium. The feed show consisted of feeding the fish and sharks in our sea turtle exhibit. Once we fed the animals, we talked to our guests about Seamore, loggerhead sea turtles and sea turtle conservation. I always like speaking with guests about Seamore because I absolutely love educating the public about animals and why it’s so important to conserve them!”