Saturday, 31 December 2011

Kelonia, the turtle clinic and observation center in St Leu, la Réunion

Simply fantastic day with the turtles yesterday! We went to the turtle center "Kelonia" in St Leu, Reunion. The previous turtle farm ("Ferme Corail") is now a turtle clinic and education&observation center.
During a very informative guided tour we have learned that 5 out of the 7 turtles world species are to be found in the waters around la Reunion: "tortue verte" (green turtle), "tortue imbriquée" (hawksbill turtle), "tortue caouanne" (loggerhead turtle), "tortue olivâtre" (olive ridley turtle), tortue luth" (leatherback turtle). Due to the fact that the green turtle (latin name: "chelonia mydas") is the most common in Reunion, the center carries its name.
From all 5 species in Reunion, the green turtle is also the only herbivore one, that's also one of the reason why the people were consuming its meat for centuries. The turtle farm was launched in 1977 and was growing turtles for their meat, bones, fat and carapace. A big poster explains what each part of the turtle body was used for...

The convention of Washington in 1981 has declared the green turtle for protected specie internationally. However the turtle farming in Reunion stopped only in 1994. Since then the center is used for education and observation purposes.
One may meet in several aquariums turtles in different sizes and ages. There are also tortoises from Madagascar and the Seychelles! The center also show on display the different items people at different continents were producing from the turtle carapace, real pieces of art! Some other artifacts make one sad thought. On the last picture is the plastic content found in the stomach of a turtle which was operated in order to keep on living...Several don't have this chance and die...


papillon said...

Turtles, these wonderful creatures... This year they lay eggs on the beach of Malendure

Filip said...

Looks like a nice visit. You would lamost forget it is winter. Have a happy New Year and see you in 2012.


de bossies! said...

Hoi Jana
Prachtige serie van deze schildpadden. Ze blijven altijd tot onze verbeelding spreken. De beste wensen voor 2012..Groetjes Henk Bos

Jana said...

thank you dear friends!
@Filip:here is a bit way to hot with some 36 degrees 2 days ago; is there snow in NL?

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