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There are only a few species so ancient that they can say they watched dinosaurs evolve and then later become extinct; as you start your adventure your first encounter will take you within feet of some of the most majestic and ancient animals in the world! The Breeding Pond is home to our green sea turtles who have matured and are at the age to start reproducing; which is usually at about 16 years of age. Turtles return to the beach front nesting sites of their mothers and grandmothers. The beach at the edge of the pond allows female turtles to nest in an environment very close to the ones they would nest in if they were in the wild. Green Sea turtles are the largest of the sea turtles and here you will find a few weighing in at more than 500 pounds! During breeding season, from May to October, you may even be lucky enough to spot a female laying her eggs!
Here you will find yearling turtles swimming and playing. Reach in to touch or pick one up for a photo of a lifetime!
Inside you will find our 9 foot Saltwater crocodile! In late 2006 Grand Cayman received an unexpected visitor, Smiley, the first crocodile seen in the Cayman Islands since the mid-1950’s! The croc was captured and brought to the Cayman Turtle Centre to await a decision on what to do with our new found friend. DNA analysis was later conducted to find out what population she had come from in an effort to return her to her natural habitat but Smiley had another surprise: she is a hybrid of two different species of crocodile. Since it is unethical to release hybrids into the wild, Smiley became a permanent resident at CTF. Smiley is trained to jump and follow a target for food and a reward.
In this tank you will find the Centre’s resident Loggerhead. Peek in to take a look at our endangered friend but no touching here – loggerheads have powerful jaws! They can crush clams, crabs, and spiny lobsters while fully mature loggerheads can even crush conch shells! Loggerheads are the second largest of the hard-shelled turtles (after the Greens). The Loggerhead turtles we have at Cayman Turtle Centre are not pure Loggerheads, they are natural hybrids mixed with Green sea turtle, but they exhibit more Loggerhead than Green features and behaviour.
Cool off and relax at Breaker’s Lagoon – the largest swimming pool on island - which boasts two fun waterfalls and its own underwater viewing panel for another opportunity to peer into the fascinating predator tank! Coming soon: Turtle Twister Water Slide! This pool is named after the breakers off the eastern districts; these are shallow areas such as reefs where you can see waves break.
Peer through the underwater or dry viewing panels and come nose-to-nose with large nurse sharks! Other amazing predators include tarpon, barracuda, and even a hawksbill turtle live here. Ask our trainers about feeding times! You don’t want to miss this feeding frenzy of fun!
Not all of our animal friends live in the water. Stroll around the Caribbean Aviary to meet local and exotic Caribbean birds; some birds are busy making nests or foraging for food but be prepared for some close-up encounters with the more curious of the bunch!
You don’t just have to watch the turtles. Jump in and swim with yearling green sea turtles and other colorful marine life in Turtle Lagoon! This lagoon is also adorned with coral, and little islands where iguanas and peacocks live – you can’t experience a snorkeling trip like this anywhere else.
Take a walk through the ambience of days gone by on Cayman Street – a gravel path laced with old traditional homes, sand gardens, thatch relics and conch shells.