Kelonia, a real turtle sanctuary.

Kelonia, a real turtle sanctuary.


There are countless center’s around the world that exploit animals to make profit. Often people attend these center’s unknowing that they are doing more harm than well. This is not at all the case at Kelonia, a once breading farm transformed into a care center with an incredible outreach program. During our stay in Reunion Island, we had the chance to follow their healthcare team, see the information center and learn more about the current menaces that the sea and land turtles are facing. 

The care center has many turtles that are struggling with various problems such as eyesight problems, genetic deformations, shark attack wounds, broken shells due to boats, etc. Turtles requiring more intense treatment are placed in individual pools, containing clean salt water. The individual pools were more like mini hospital rooms for these turtles. These turtles are heavily monitored and follow specific meal plans and medical care (vaccines, medications and monitoring).

While we were with the team we got to observe the administration and preparation of the medication, the feeding of a vegetarian meal and also the measuring of the land turtle weight. While at the care center, we got to meet Quasimodo, a turtle who was born with a genetic deformation causing excessive growth. We also met Vigette, a tough little turtle that survived a shark attack and had actually arrived at the center two days prior to our arrival. No matter what turtle it was, or the difficulties it faces, the healthcare team is ready for each situation. 

“The main problem in Reunion Island is the reduction of lay sites for the turtles. Historically, Reunion Island was an important lay sites, with more than 10 or 20 000 females laying their eggs each year. This has disappeared in a century and a half” explains Stephane Ciccione, director of Kelonia. 

Urbanization and deforestation of the littoral zone has reduced the amount of turtles to the point where specialists have confirmed that there is only one turtle, Emma, that comes to the shores of Reunion Island to lay her eggs every three years. The large plants that we find further along the beach reduces any sonore nuisances and lights from the local townships. It also creates shade to help regulate the temperature of the sand which promotes incubation. These plants are also very important as they release a certain odour which is perceived by the sea turtles and attracts them towards these beaches. 

It is important to note that the sea turtles are primarily in danger due to the loss of the ecosystem (in Reunion Island, it is due to the loss of vegetation).  This is why Kelonia replants, since 1999, vegetation in the littoral zone. After over 60 years of absence, a turtle now comes to Saint-Leu to lay her eggs due to these efforts.  Kelonia’s new objectives are to now replant over 5 hectares of the littoral zone within the next 3 years, which is funded by the many partners of the center. 

The opening of Kelonia in 2004 has also changed the local mentality. There is a lot less poaching, more and more people being involved in local actions which allows for a positive future for these species on the beaches of this island. 

 

During our time at the center, one turtle arrived due to a shark attack another one was strong enough to be released. It was released about three days after the arrival of Vigette. We are happy to see that the team at Kelonia really promote healthy recovery with the sole purpose to release them back into their natural habitat when they are healthy enough.

Written by The Good Bears

Instagram

  • Let's celebrate #EarthHour together. Turn off all your lights at  8:30pm.
You could be amazed at what you can see in the dark! 🌌
------
Célébrons ensemble #UneHeurePourLaPlanete. Éteignez toutes vos lumières à 20h30.
Vous pourriez être surpris de ce que l'on peut voir dans le noir!🌌
#InAWink #EarthHour2018
  • Corals are animals. They make a calcium carbonate skeleton that looks similar to rocks.
When water is too warm, corals expel the algae living in their tissues causing the coral to turn completely white. This is called coral bleaching.
------
Les coraux sont des animaux. Il fabrique un squelette en carbonate de calcium qui ressemble à de la roche.
Quand l'eau se réchauffe, le corail expulse les algues qui se trouvent dans ses tissus, il devient alors tout blanc. C'est ce que l'on appelle le blanchissement du corail.
#InAWink #Seychelles #coral #conservation
  • We found some motivated buddies ready to fight coral bleaching with us!💪
Between 2014 and 2016, the longest global bleaching events ever were recorded. It killed coral on an unprecedented scale.
------
Nous avons trouvé quelques amis prêts à combattre le blanchissement des coraux avec nous!💪
Entre 2014 et 2016, le plus long événement de blanchissement du corail à l'échelle mondiale a été enregistré. Celà a tué les coraux à un rythme sans précédent.
#InAWink #Seychelles #coral #conservation
  • Seychelles is one of those countries where the crystal-clear waters are home to the most beautiful colorful fish. Unfortunately, due to coral bleaching, these stunning ecosystems are menaced. In some areas 90% of the coral reefs have already disappeared.
Rise of ocean temperatures, overfishing and pollution are the main threats, so it's our responsibility to take action!🐠
------
Les Seychelles font parties de ces pays où les eaux cristallines abritent certains des plus beaux poissons multicolores. Malheureusement, en raison du blanchissement des coraux, ces superbes écosystèmes sont menacés. À certains endroits, 90% du corail a déjà disparu. Le réchauffement de la température des océans, la surpêche et la pollution sont les principales menaces, c'est donc à nous d'agir!🐠
#InAWink #Seychelles #coral #conservation
  • Namibia is home to some of the largest dunes in the world. The highest one, Dune 7, has been measured at over 383 meters.
What a view from above!
------
La Namibie abrite quelques unes des plus hautes dunes du monde.
La plus haute, Dune 7, a été mesuré à plus de 383 mètres!
Quelle vue une fois arrivé au sommet!
#InAWink #Namibia #Africa #conservation #desert #dune
  • The recent death of Sudan, the last male Nothern White Rhino remember us our ''Rhino Tracking'' experience in Namibia. Thanks to @namibia_nature_foundation, we learned a lot about the threats facing the Black Rhino in Africa. We cannot let another species disappear! 💪
------
La récente mort de Sudan, le dernier rhinocéros mâle blanc du Nord nous rappelle notre expérience de ''Rhino Tracking'' en Namibie. Grâce à @namibia_nature_foundation, nous en avons appris beaucoup concernant les menaces qui pèsent sur le rhinocéros noir en Afrique. Nous ne pouvons pas laisser une autre espèce disparaître! 💪
#InAWink #Sudan #Rhino #Namibia #Africa #conservation
  • Dead Vlei is one of the many wonders of Namibia. Once a temporary shallow pool, the abundance of water allowed camel thorn trees to grow in this clay pan.
The remaining skeletons of the dead trees are now black because the sun has scorched them. A really unique ecosystem where some plants still live! ☀🌿
------
Dead Vlei est une des merveilles de la Namibie. Autrefois un petit marais temporaire, l'abondance d'eau a permis à des acacias du désert de pousser. Les troncs d'arbres morts sont devenus noirs, brûlés par le soleil. Un écosystème vraiment unique où des plantes vivent encore! ☀🌿 #InAWink #Africa #Namibia #ecosystem #deadvlei #conservation
  • It is amazing to see how fast the landscape can change in Namibia. This country has our hearts!
------
C'est incroyable de voir à quelle vitesse le paysage peut changer en Namibie. Ce pays est un véritable coup de coeur pour nous!
#InAWink #Africa #Namibia #desert #roadtrip