Earlier this year we displayed an article and video footage about a turtle that had fallen victim to the thoughtless discarding of rubbish in the sea. A long plastic straw had become lodged in the turtle’s nostril and getting it out was no easy task, there was a lot of blood and agony involved. Many turtles in the sea suffer similar fates, not always as a result of the acts of humans. Right now efforts are being focused on turtle conservation in Phuket. In July this year, the Turtle Shelter and Education Centre opened at the JW Marriott Phuket Resort and Spa on Mai Khao Beach, which is one of the only beaches left in Phuket where marine turtles continue to lay their eggs.
At the moment there are three young turtles residing at the shelter. All of them were born with disabilities and would not have survived if they were released to the sea. The three turtles are called Tommy, Jerry Junior and Kiew. Tommy was born in captivity and it was soon noticed that he was blind. Jerry Junior has a deformed shell and Kiew has guidance problems. Without the shelter, chances are none of them would be alive.
The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources and the Phuket Marine Biological Centre maintain the shelter but many other people help out, including members of the government, NGO’s and private sector partners. The Royal Navy even lends a hand, by protecting the eggs on their trips to the hatchery.
The shelter is a great place for the whole family to learn about the importance of turtle conservation. Since its opening in July, people from all around the world have flocked to visit the centre. We urge you to come along too.