CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- It's been over a year since a sea turtle named "Eddie" was first taken to the South Carolina Aquarium after being hit by a boat. This week will mark the final leg in his life-changing journey.
"Eddie" will ride in style on his way to a Sea Life Aquarium in Texas on Tuesday. The turtle will have his very own boarding pass, will go through security and will have his own seat on a commercial Southwest Airlines flight.
You may be wondering why Eddie isn't being released back into the ocean? Well, officials at the South Carolina Aquarium attribute that to a combination of factors. They say the injuries Eddie suffered prevent him from diving into the water to hunt for prey. Air in his intestines causes him to be a "floater." This could keep him from surviving in the wild.
That's why Eddie is being taken to his new digs in Texas, where he will live out the remainder of his days. Officials at the aquarium in Charleston have a lot to do before Eddie is ready to travel. They will outfit Eddie with a custom wetsuit that has special slots for weights to help him dive.
On Tuesday, Eddie will get to experience what every other passenger goes through. Aquarium leaders say Eddie will ride in a special container en route to the airport. After getting his boarding pass, Eddie will be taken out of his container and actually walked through the metal detector.
Staff from Sea Life Aquarium will be on hand to meet Eddie, their newest resident, and to familiarize themselves with the turtle and his medical history.