Sales of Sir Turtle by Tortuga Rum Company will soon benefit real turtles at the Cayman Turtle Farm.
The cute and cuddly toy has been a real hit with tourists and locals alike, and, as a result, representatives of the Tortuga Rum Co., were pleased to be able to donate more than $600 after a few months of sales to the Turtle Farm’s breeder nutrition research program.
Walter Mustin, chief research officer of the turtle breeding programme, said the funds will be used to assist with the preparation of a new and improved diet for breeding turtles.
Marlyn Ebanks, director of operations at Tortuga Rum Company, and sales representative Carol Jackson were on hand to present the first donation to Dr. Mustin and Raymond Hydes, chief sales officer at the Turtle Farm.
Dr. Mustin thanked Tortuga, and said donations such as this are absolutely vital to the programme to help reach their goal of replenishing the waters of the Caribbean with green sea turtles.
“Without such efforts and the kindness and concern of citizens and corporations in Cayman, this important conservation work would not be possible,” Dr. Mustin said.
Dr. Mustin pointed out that, recently, turtles that were tagged at the Turtle Farm as long ago as the 1980s have been returning to Cayman to lay their eggs. This means the efforts to save the turtles are having real results.
“It takes roughly 30 years for turtles in the wild to complete their life cycle, and become mature enough to lay eggs,” Dr. Mustin said. “Seeing them return to Cayman’s shores after such a long time is such an encouragement, and shows that what we are doing here is working. It was a special moment for me to be able to contact Dr. Robert Schroeder, the scientist who pioneered this work in the 1970s, to let him know that the mature turtles were back and had survived in the wild and were now home, all grown up and laying their own eggs on Cayman beaches.”
The farm has placed more than 31,000 endangered green sea turtles into the wild since its 1968 founding.
With every Sir Turtle toy sold $3 is donated to the Turtle Farm. They make great gifts for visitors to take home, and for off-island friends and family as a special memento of Cayman.