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In view of the Tropical Storm Warning issued for the Cayman Islands, preparations are underway at Cayman Turtle Centre to ensure that all visitors, staff and animals remain safe. The Centre is closed to the public on Monday and Tuesday.
“The safety of our visitors, staff, and animals are always our paramount consideration,” Mr. Tim Adam, CEO, said.
“We are following our Disaster Preparedness Plan to make sure that as the storm passes, risks of damage will be kept to a minimum. We have learned a lot, both from Hurricane Michelle in 2001, and Hurricane Ivan in 2004, and the knowledge and experience gained during both of those hurricanes form an integral part of our preparedness plan. Although this storm is not forecast to be Hurricane strength when it passes over the Cayman Islands, our preparations are basically the same.”
All necessary precautions, including ensuring sufficient stocks of food for all animals, have been put in place at the Centre, and the most vulnerable animals, such as the Cayman Parrots and several other species of birds in the Caribbean Free Flight Aviary, as well as the Peafowl of Peacock Island, will all be temporarily rehoused in safe and secure enclosures until the danger has passed.
“Everyone gets stressed during a storm, and of course, animals do too. We aim to make sure they are not only kept safe but feel safe and secure too,” Mr. Adam added.
“We ensure each animals’ safety and welfare is our top priority. Each of our dedicated crew members involved in animal husbandry through to everyone involved in backup operations, such as operating backup generators and water pumps, are trained in disaster mitigation procedures,” Mr. Adam said. “We cannot stop natural disasters from happening, but we can be prepared and manage the risks as much as possible.”
“Our preparations for disasters are in accordance with international best practice protocols relating to zoological parks and aquariums,” Mrs. Natalie Porter, Marketing Manager, Cayman Turtle Centre, said.
“We are hoping that the storm will pass by the Cayman Islands without incident, but in case damage does occur, we will be prepared. We continue to monitor the progress of the storm in order to take appropriate action and will be providing updates on our response accordingly through our social media channels.”
As soon as the storm passes and the all-clear is given, any damage sustained will be assessed, the animals will be checked and, if necessary, examined by CTCEC’s in-house veterinarian staff. The integrity and safety of animal enclosures and Cayman Turtle Centre structures and equipment will be inspected as the Centre is restored to a state of normalcy, ready for reopening later in the week.