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Cayman's largest land-based attraction, Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter hosts more than 500,000 visitors each year. Educational, cultural and entertainment programmes are consistently being created and updated to enhance the experience that can only be found at our world renowned attraction.
The Cayman Turtle Centre, the first commercial venture to domesticate Green Sea Turtles begins. It is founded as Mariculture Ltd by Irvin Naylor, Henry Hamlin, Dr. Samuel Ayres III & Anthony G.A. Fisher with the blessing of and an exclusive franchise from the Cayman islands Government.
To form the herd, eggs, adults and sub-adult turtles are collected from the wild. A minimum of 477,644 eggs were collected from Ascension Island, Costa Rica, Guyana and Suriname.
Mating & hatching of the Green Sea Turtle in captivity is achieved.
A turtle hatches at the Centre, is reared to sexual maturity and is able to mate and nest with a hatch rate of 33 percent.
The Centre introduces a small group of yearling and hatchling Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles - to establish a captive breeding colony of this endangered species and to obtain further biological data on this species in a controlled environment.
The Turtle Centre reaches another operational milestone when the Cayman Islands Government purchases it from its previous owners and is incorporated as Cayman Turtle Centre Ltd.
The first observed nesting in captivity of the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle occurs at the centre.
The Turtle Centre registers another significant achievement when second generation turtles first hatch.
The Centre becomes one of the largest tourist attractions on the Island, attracting over 340,000 visitors.
The idea for Boatswain’s Beach is born when Hurricane Michelle causes irreparable damage to the Turtle Centre. Several meetings involving planning teams, construction engineers, members of the public and representatives from both the government and the private sector results in a promise that Cayman will soon be home to one of the most exciting tourist attractions in the Caribbean. At this point, the marine adventure park may have been the only architectural project in the world involving cab drivers.
Design work is completed and the group seeks planning permission for a world-class marine park created on 23 acres. The project involves massive landscaping, construction of a host of new buildings encompassing 50,000 square feet, a series of sophisticated water-based features and more than a dozen subcontractors.
Construction of the reception building and water features begin. When Hurricane Ivan descends on Cayman, the project suffers only minimal damage.
In May of 2010 the name of the facility was changed, dropping entirely the “Boatswain’s Beach” reference, returning to an earlier, easier and simpler title: Cayman Turtle Centre.
Because it was important for visitors to know about the park’s other attractions, beyond its sea turtles, a subtitle as added as well and the new name was determined: “Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter”.
A new logo was developed for the new name This new logo offers four pictures: That of a turtle is a reference not just historical residents and star performers at the centre, as well as the Island’s cultural past, but the symbol of the turtle is also a reminder of theCentre’s ongoing and world renowned research and conservation activities in addition to the traditional turtle-breeding and release programmes.
The second image is that of a Cayman parrot, the National Bird, drawing attention to both our aviary and also to encounters with some of our other indigenous wildlife.
The picture of a shark directs visitors to the marine life, interactive swimming, feeding and predator tanks, as well as the excitement of seeing underwater wildlife.
And, finally, the fourth image in the logo depicts a small bloom of silver thatch – another National Symbol - referring to the nature trails and promotion of Caymanian traditions and culture.
The new name not only describes the interactive nature of the facility, through the use of the word ‘encounter’ but also reminds residents and visitors of the park’s older, familiar and popular name, which has in effect really always remained in use anyway.
Today the Centre continues to grow adding new features to enhance the entertainment facet of the centre but also work continues to keep the Centre’s research and conservation activities up to par with the global standards.