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Time to shell-ebrate the return of grand old lady Lulu

Lulu the green turtle
Lulu the green turtle
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She weighs a whopping 28 stone, is nearly 80-years-old and is returning home to Blackpool.

Lulu, the giant green sea turtle, was a firm favourite among children and visitors to The Blackpool Tower aquarium in the past.

Now 79-year-old Lulu has just returned home to the Golden Mile, after spending seven years at Sea Life in Brighton, following her former home being converted into The Blackpool Tower Dungeon in 2010.

She will be the star of the show for the new Turtle Rescue zone at Sea Life Blackpool where she will be the oldest resident at the seafront aquarium.

General manager Matthew Titherington said: “Many parents and grandparents from across the region will remember Lulu, the giant sea turtle.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming them back when they bring their children and grandchildren to see exactly the same turtle, who’s still in great health.”

Lulu is heading up the new interactive Turtle Rescue trail, which encourages turtle care and conservation.

“The huge success of Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II series has spotlighted the importance of turtle conservation,” said Mr Titherington. “Lulu is an extremely popular and remarkable creature.” Green sea turtles are listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Head aquarist Scott Blacker said: “Despite laws protecting sea turtles in most countries, these include being hunted for their eggs, meat and shells, a legal practice in many parts of the world where they are a delicacy. Plastic pollution is another increasing threat, as Sir David Attenborough highlighted on Blue Planet II, posing a massive risk to oceans and marine life. Green sea turtles are also threatened by destruction of their nesting and foraging areas, as well as becoming entangled in commercial and industrial fishing nets.

“Blue Planet II really drew everyone’s attention to the massive problem of plastic pollution and the critical impact it has on our oceans and marine life.”

Green sea turtles are born only 5cm long. But they grow up to 1.5 metres in length and can weigh more than 300 kg, making them the largest of the hard-shell sea turtles.

The giant turtles make their home in tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide.