Monday, June 11, 2012

Meet Ali



All of our readers of course remember how cute Lydia the leopard gecko is - SO CUTE. While Lydia has long maintained her position as cutest thing this side of the Space Needle, there is a new challenger to her title.

Meet Alesek ("al’luhshuk"), whose name means "turtle" in the local Lushootseed language. We call her Ali for short.




Ali is a Western Painted Turtle that came to Pacific Science Center from the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center in Bellevue. We kept her in a tank behind-the-scenes for a couple of weeks while we prepared her exhibit, and in that short time she has captured the hearts of most of our staff. She is observant, attentive, and comfortable around humans. One day while Lead Animal Caretaker Brianna Todd was checking the temperature of the water with a laser, she noticed Ali chasing the red spot around the tank, trying to eat it for lunch! How cute is that?

Still don't believe that she's SO CUTE? Check out this video of Ali trying to find the perfect spot to rest in her tank.

video

Western Painted Turtles are one of the most common turtle species in North America. They can be found in most parts of the United States, including Western Washington. Like all turtles, they have a very long life span. Western Painted Turtles have been known to live up to 55 years, and some probably live longer. We don't know exactly how old Ali is, but she is probably not full-grown. At about 4 inches long, she's still on the small side. Adults can range from 4-10 inches.




Come check out Ali, now on exhibit. Her tank is nestled in between the axolotls and the leopard gecko, giving them all ample opportunity to complement each other on their respective cuteness. Who is the winner?

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