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The Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter will celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee with a public turtle release on Saturday, 2nd June and a resident rate special on the Jubilee public holiday Monday, 4th June.
The turtle release planned to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee is the first of its kind. To be released is an adult turtle, one of the oldest at the Cayman Turtle Centre and estimated to be 60 years of age. Part of the Cayman Turtle Centre’s breeding stock for over 30 years; this turtle is a male weighing over 600 pounds. Dubbed Sir Thomas Turtleton in honour of the Queen’s Jubilee, he is the first turtle of this age and size to be released into the wild by the Cayman Turtle Centre.
In another new and special development, Sir Thomas Turtleton will be part of the Cayman Turtle Centre’s “Tag and Track” release programme, which was inaugurated earlier this year with the release of “Jerry” – the Cayman Turtle Centre’s first satellite-tracked turtle.
As part of the Tag and Track programme, Green Sea Turtles fitted with satellite transmitters are released into the ocean and monitored online. When the animal surfaces during a transmission period, the tag sends a signal to a satellite, indicating its location.
As Sir Thomas Turtleton travels following his release, the team at the Cayman Turtle Centre will be able to use the data as signs that he has successfully survived the re-introduction to the wild, and scientists, both at the Centre and in like-minded organisations around the world, can view and assess the turtle's migration path.
Sir Thomas Turtleton will be released on Saturday, 2nd June at 3pm into the North Sound at the former Safehaven site – to the north of the canal entrance across from the North Sound Golf Club. The public is welcome and invited to attend.
Following his release this weekend, Sir Thomas Turtleton can be followed online at the seaturtle.org link shown on the Cayman Turtle Centre webpage at www.turtle.ky/current-project.
It is hoped that the data from Sir Thomas Turtleton’s track may be compared with the track of younger released turtles and determine the behaviour of older turtles versus the younger turtles usually released by the Cayman Turtle Centre at between two and three years of age.
“We felt this turtle release would be a fitting celebration of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee by the Cayman Turtle Centre as it celebrates both history and progress,” said Chief Marketing Officer Tina Trumbach. “Sir Thomas Turtleton has made a tremendous contribution to the breeding and conservation efforts at the Cayman Turtle Centre over the years, and we felt it was an opportune time to celebrate his history and release him back to his original habitat. By making his release a part of our Tag and Track release programme, we can also contribute to progress in research on mature turtles released into the wild.”
To further celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee, the Cayman Turtle Centre will welcome Cayman residents on Monday, 4th June with a resident rate special of half-off regular low resident rates. So on the Public Holiday, residents can gain admission for just CI$5 for adults, CI$2 for children 4 to 12 years old, with children under 4 years old getting in for free.
While enjoying the Cayman Turtle Centre on the holiday Monday, guests can also sample specialty drinks in honour of the Queen’s Jubilee. Adults can enjoy the alcoholic Jubilee Chiller and kids of all ages can taste the non-alcoholic Jubilee Junior – both frozen drinks in the colours of the Union Jack.
The Cayman Turtle Centre will be open from 8:00am to 4:30pm on Monday, 4th June.
For more information on the Cayman Turtle Centre’s celebrations of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, call 949-3894