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- Research & Conservation
One of the biggest highlights of our Camp Shellby summer camp this year was on Friday afternoons when the kids, who had spent all week on a wonderful adventure of wildlife and nature discovery, got to help release some of our Green sea turtles into the wild.
Cayman Turtle Centre has been releasing turtles for years, and so far have released more than 32,000. It has been shown by scientific studies that the Centre’s ongoing release programmes have helped turn Cayman’s Green sea turtle population back from the edge of extinction, and the studies have found that nine out of ten of Cayman’s nesting turtles are related to those released from the Centre.
The Camp Shellby kids, supervised by CTCEC’S Education Programmes Officer, Shona McGill, all got very excited when they saw the turtles being carried, in special containers half-filled with sea water, onto the beach ready for release. Each of the kids could touch each of the turtles gently on their shells, before the yearling turtles were lifted out of their containers and down to the water’s edge. Each of the turtles seemed to hesitate for a moment just before they make their way out into the surf, and Ms. McGill explained that this is thought to be part of the way that they set their internal biological compass, so that one day, they might return to this very same stretch of beach.
The kids waved the turtles goodbye, and waited until they couldn’t see them anymore. Then it was time for more fun, because the rest of Friday afternoons at Camp Shellby are for having lots of fun in CTC’s Freshwater Lagoon, which is always a great place for kids to cool off and relax before its time to go home.
“The kids have had a really fun time at Camp this year,” Ms McGill said, “they’ve been learning all about turtles and sharks and birds and they were especially excited about the turtle releases."
We can't wait to do it all again next year!