The Deep News - July 2019



31st July 2019

We've had some tiny new residents arrive at The Deep. At only 2.5 centimetres they're only about the size of a 10 pence piece but well worth watching out for.

These Green Mantella frogs have only been found living in Madagascar and their numbers are declining, putting them in the Endangered section of the IUCN Red List. The main threat they face is due to the loss of their habitat due to fires, logging and the selection of firewood, and livestock grazing. They also face a threat from the deadly Chytrid fungus, which infects the frogs' skin. Breeding programmes and research into eradicating the Chytrid fungus are underway to try and protect this species.

The adults are mainly green, sometimes with a bit of yellow. Younger green mantellas can range from yellow to brown to almost red, with a darker pattern on their back. Juveniles will achieve their adult colours at 8 to 12 months of age. 

Come and see the Green Mantella frogs in the Deep Blue One area of the attraction. 



16th July 2019

We're delighted to announce that a second penguin chick has been born at The Deep.

The first chick arrived on 14 June to parents Brian and Diane. Shortly after laying her eggs, Diane left the nest and paired with another penguin, so the decision was made to foster the egg out to experienced parents Nessie and Shackleton. This chick weighed just 90 grams at birth, but has grown to a whopping 2kg since its arrival.  

Diane has since paired with Rapha, resulting in our second chick being born on the 11th July. The second chick weighed 90 grams and is being cared for in the nest by the parents. The parents are taking turns feeding the juvenile, who in just four days grew to 176 grams. 

Our team of Aquarists are keeping close eye on the chicks’ development, carrying out regular weight and health checks to ensure the parents are doing their job properly.

The chicks will stay in the nest for first month underneath the parents. As time goes on, the parents start to move off the nest for short periods of time but still come back to feed. After three months have passed the chick leaves the nest after moulting their soft downy feathers. At this time, they will grow their waterproof feathers and will be able to swim, become independent and no longer rely on the parents for food.

Following this moult, the keepers will be able to discover the sex of the chick from the DNA of their feathers. Keep a close eye on our website and social media as we'll let you know whether we have boys or girls - or both! If you are visiting The Deep and are lucky enough to get a fabulous photo of our new arrivals, share it with us @thedeephull on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #babypenguin



3rd July 2019

At the end of 2018, Deep Aquarist Shoshana flew to New England Aquarium Rescue Centre on the East coast of America, to help rehabilitate cold stunned sea turtles.

Following months of intensive care, it is now time for some of the turtles to be released back into the ocean and Shoshana has once again taken the trip to America to assist the care team.

Yesterday Shoshana assisted the team with the release of turtle number 266 at Nantucket Sound in Cape Cod, dubbed ‘Munchkin’ by the rescue staff. She is largest loggerhead to ever come through the centre, weighing 137kg on arrival (increasing to 151kg in the last few months). Munchkin was found off Great Island, Massachusetts.

Munchkin was admitted with significant wounds to her right flipper. She was nearly unconscious when she was rescued and brought into the centre. She is also missing portions of her right front flipper and left hind flipper from suspected entanglement damage. No one knows exactly why munchkin was stranded, but it is thought that the drop in her body temperature due to being cut off from warmer waters led to her becoming sick and hypothermic.

Using ultrasound technology, the vets were able to determine that her heart was still functional. So her treatment began. Turtle treatment can last from several months to two years, until they are healthy enough to be released back into the ocean.

Shoshana tells us more: “Pictures and descriptions can’t adequately describe how incredible Munchkin is.  I remember the sense of awe that I felt when I saw her for the first time back in 2018.  I was so excited to work with her and in some small way contribute to her rehabilitation. 

“The extraordinary staff at The New England Aquarium Rescue Centre provide an exceptional standard of care to hundreds of turtles every year and this is no exception when it came to Munchkin. To be able to share in celebrating their success and hard work with the ending of her rehabilitation and then her release is beyond rewarding and a once in a lifetime experience. 

“It’s these moments that overwhelm us with emotion and show us the types of things we can accomplish by working together. They inspire us and the only thing I can say is that I am so thankful to both The Deep and The New England Aquarium that I can be a part of something so special, so inspiring and full of hope.”

Before her release, Munchkin was fitted with a satellite tag so the care team can watch her progress and see where she goes. Loggerheads migrate for thousands of miles, but gaining data on a turtle at this stage of life is extremely rare.  She has the capability to cover long distances in the coming months and provide vital data on congregation points and movement areas.

The ocean and sea turtles like Munchkin are facing accelerating threats like rapidly rising water temperatures from climate change, islands of floating plastic and ocean industrialisation. It is hoped by telling Munchkins story, we will help to inspire everyone to take action.

You can read more about Munchkins journey here 



2nd July 2019

What do nappies, straws, cans and forks have in common?

They were all part of 100 kilos of rubbish found littering the Humber shoreline. That’s about 15 ½ stone!

As part of the Humber Alliance Group, the team from The Deep and Arco got together yesterday to help clean up a five mile stretch of the Trans Pennine Trail, which runs along the river between St Andrew’s Quay and Hessle Foreshaw. In total, 43 bags of rubbish were collected - mainly full of balloons, fast food wrappers, napkins, baby wipes, drinks cans, straws, plastic bottles and plastic forks. The team also scoured Hessle’s Country Park where litter was found scattered in bushes, around picnic benches and thrown into ponds. All the rubbish that was collected was taken by Biffa to their recycling facilities.

If the litter hadn’t been collected, not only would it have been an eyesore but it’s a potential hazard to land animals and particularly harmful if blown into the nearby Humber. The beach clean is part of the mantra of the Humber Waste Alliance whose aim is to reduce waste and prevent marine litter pollution in the Humber and its impact on the environment.

Susan Hornby, Head of Education & Community Engagement at The Deep said “We’re delighted to partner with Arco for this inaugural clean-up of the Hessle to Hull waterside walkway. Marine litter, particularly plastics, has become a global problem but today we’re tackling our local waters, hoping that each time we run this event the volume of litter will decrease as the public take a stance against single use plastics”

Pictured are Arco’s staff from their Product Assurance and Marketing departments who gave up their day as part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme. Kirsty Old and Natalie Carroll from The Deep’s Community Outreach department brought bags and litter pickers and The Deep’s electric van ready to transport the rubbish to Hull’s waste management company BIFFA, who will handle the rubbish responsibly.  

The Deep holds public beach cleans twice a year. Keep an eye on the What's on section of our website if you’d like to get involved.

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