"" Writer's Wanderings: July, 1996--The Old Turtle Farm, Grand Cayman

Monday, June 15, 2020

July, 1996--The Old Turtle Farm, Grand Cayman

In '96, we spent several days on a romantic getaway to 7 Mile Beach on Grand Cayman Island. While there we took time to explore a bit and enjoy some of the activities in the area. One day we made the short trip to the turtle farm. 

I say it was a short trip because at the time, the farm was located right there near 7 Mile Beach. The turtle farm was originally established in 1968 as a means of raising turtles for commercial purposes. The intention was to supply the market without depleting the turtle population in the sea. When the US and many other countries banned the sale of turtle products, the original company went bankrupt. It was taken over by
another company and renamed the Cayman Turtle Center. While they had good intentions of investing profits to sea turtle protection and conservation. Eventually they floundered and the Cayman Government took over operating it as a private company. It continues to supply the local market with turtles and has continued the raising and releasing of sea turtles. In addition, it has become on the largest tourist attractions on the island.

In November 2001, Hurricane Michelle that passed near the island sent huge waves into the turtle farm that was near the shore and actually washed 600 lb. turtles out of their habitat. Islanders volunteered to rescue the turtles and many were recovered. It caused the turtle farm operation to move further inland which was a good thing because in 2004, Hurricane Ivan did major damage to the whole of the Cayman Islands and of course, the structures of the turtle farm. No turtles were lost though and now the facility has been remodeled and made into a beautiful place to visit and learn of turtles.

In our first visit though, the facility was pretty utilitarian--functional rather than aesthetic. Still, it was a wonderful introduction to a fascinating creature of the sea.

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