Massachusetts boy skips birthday gifts, gives to sea turtles instead

Jasper Rose, of Watertown, Mass., stands by the main tank at the New England Aquarium Friday, April 22, 2016, in Boston. The 6-year-old's love of sea turtles prompted him to skip his birthday gifts and instead asked for money to donate for sea turtle rescue efforts. He has so far raised $550. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts 6-year-old’s love of sea turtles prompted him to forgo birthday gifts this year and ask instead for money he could donate to sea turtle rescue efforts.

Jasper Rose, of Watertown, collected $550 for Boston’s New England Aquarium from his birthday earlier this month. He and his family presented the check to aquarium officials Friday to mark Earth Day and asked that it be used for its sea turtle rescue program.

“It means an enormous amount to us. It really encourages us,” Nigella Hillgarth, the aquarium’s president and CEO, told Jasper and his family. “We’re really moved by this gift. The generosity that he’s inspired is really something. ”

For his efforts, Jasper got to spend the morning at the top of the aquarium’s four story Caribbean coral reef tank feeding the sea turtles by hand.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” he said, tossing cabbage and other leafy greens to a 90-year-old, 550-pound turtle named Myrtle.

Rose’s mother, Ananda, said the family visits the downtown aquarium often, and Jasper can pick out and name all the turtles. She says he’s even set up a website about sea turtles and wrote a 10-page book about them with his father’s help.

“For some reason, he really fell in love with sea turtles and found out everything about them and why they’re endangered and why they need help because we’re doing all the damage,” Ananda Rose said.

Jasper, she says, got the idea for the donation after recently visiting the aquarium’s Animal Care Center in Quincy, Massachusetts.

There, aquarium officials treat dozens of sea turtles each year that are found stranded on the beaches of nearby Cape Cod.

Typically suffering from hypothermia, dehydration and other injuries and illnesses, the turtles are nursed back to health before being released back into the ocean.

What others are clicking on:

NBC4i.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s