share this article

While you were living your relatively ordinary daily life, a turtle has been traveling the world and breaking records. Yoshi is a loggerhead turtle from Australia who has become more of a celebrity. She was released from the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town two years ago and into the ocean. Since then, she has grown to become an international celebrity, swimming 35,400 km in those two years to become the longest-ever recorded journey of any tracked animal ever. That’s almost an amazing 48 km per day with no rest, so it’s safe to say that she’s become known for putting all other long-distance swimmers to shame — a whole new definition to ‘turtle’s pace’! During her two-year journey in the open waters, the turtle’s lengthy migration path has become a new record-setting migration and the Aquarium has been updating the world about this journey on Twitter.

The journey started off the coast of Cape Town back on December 16th, 2017. This “cold-blooded” reptile has outdone the journey of any other marine animal worldwide, and the speculation grows that Yoshi may finally have returned to her natal beach to lay eggs of her own. The journey has been long, and it’s Yoshi’s first to a country outside of Africa — her passport now gets an Australian stamp right next to South Africa, Namibia, and Angola!

She had a tracker tag around her neck since her release in 2017, and South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs Oceans and Coasts division has been monitoring Yoshi’s travels. Till now, she seems to be heading towards Point Samson — a small fishing town in Western Australia that's home to some of Australia’s most famous turtle nesting beaches. With the battery’s life possibly running out soon, the Western Australian conservation and research officials are already on standby to meet her if she nests on one of these beaches. Word is still out on whether Yoshi’s destination is Australia or if it’s just a stop along the way. We should know pretty soon whether Yoshi is an Australian after all, and if she is about to add to the global loggerhead population.

She’s been a celebrity since the start. Yoshi arrived in Cape Town on board a Japanese fishing vessel and the captain called the aquarium for help. They took her in and it became her home for 20 years, where she was known as the “Queen of the Exhibit”. At around 25 years of age, the aquarium made a decision that it would be in Yoshi's best interest to be released, and so the daily exercises for life back in the ocean started. It’s definitely an interesting life she’s leading. But all that’s going through my head right now is that attaching a name and a backstory to a sea turtle means no more plastic straws for me.

Source: The South African