The Sea Turtles Clinic
The Sea Turtles Clinic was created in February 2004 with the financial support of the Ministry for the Environment and is part of the sea turtles protection program of French Polynesia. Indeed, although turtles are a protected species, they are still threatened of extinction at a worldwide level, while their future in French Polynesia is presently uncertain.
The InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa has accepted to fit out part of its private lagoon to shelter the turtles because the hotel feels very concerned by their protection. The resort has entrusted the te mana o te moana association to manage the Sea turtles clinic.
435 sea turtles have been sheltered by the clinic since its creation (including 150 aged between 0-6 months, usually baby turtles found agonizing at the bottom of their nest), and 192 of them were successfully released back in the wild.
The Sea turtles clinic, appointed by the Government Office for Environment, shelters and treats turtles found sick, wounded, mutilated or seized by the authorities.
Two species of sea turtles can be seen at the clinic: the green turtle and the hawkbill turtle.
The Turtles Clinic is located in a dedicated area of the Hotel InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa channel. The park is wire netted on each extremity and is composed of a rehabilitation lagoon and two enclosures called nurseries (one for intensive care, one for juveniles). The park is 50 meters long and 8 meters wide and its depth is of about 2 meters. The strong natural current of the area allows the continuous renewal of fresh water. The quality of the water is checked every month with a bacteriological analysis.
On the beach next to the turtles’ lagoon, two small “fare” provide the visitors with information about ecology, sea turtles’ species, turtles currently present at the Clinic, and other actions of te mana o te moana.
Trained by specialized veterinarians, a team brings all necessary medical care to the turtles. With each case goes a specific treatment : pills, antibiotics, vitamins distribution, wounds disinfection, rehydration serum injection, and even sometimes X-ray photography or force-feeding with a special gastric catheter…
Health and growth of the turtles is carefully monitored : once a month, turtles are weighted and measured. To facilitate the turtles’ identification, a painless inscription is marked on their carapace.
Download the story of COSTA LUNA (in French)
Download the story of TORTILLA (in French)
Download the story of MATAPO (in French)
Download the story of LINA (in French)
The Boaders of the moment
Each turtle is tagged on the back fin once we are sure that they are ready to survive on their own back in their natural environment (that is: able to swim, dive and move normaly, and able to eat by themselves). Tags are composed of little metal plates displaying the identification number of each turtle. Finally, turtles are transported out to the open ocean and released.
How can you help protect sea turtles?
If you find a sea turtle
If you come across an ill, injured or dead sea turtle, or if you seek any information concerning sea turtles in French Polynesia, please call:
The sea turtles clinic, Moorea, tel: 56 40 11 or 71 53 44
- avoid giving medical care yourself
- do not feed the turtle
- for transportation (by plane or by car), keep the turtle in a plastic tank
- put a plastic fence on top of the tank to prevent any ulterior handling of the turtle
- put a wet towel on the fence so that the turtle can breathe while remaining in a humid environment
- write address where to send the turtle: Clinique des tortues de MOOREA, Hôtel InterContinental Moorea Resort and Spa / tel : 56.40.11 ou 71.53.44
Transportation cost is paid for by the turtles clinic.
If you wish to donate
Read more about the Turtles’ Clinic
Our Supports for 2016 :
Vilebrequin renewed its commitment to the ocean in 2016, joining forces with our foundation to protect the future of sea turtles.
From this year, Vilebrequin is helping to the the day-to-day running of the clinic while funding the development of essential educational initiatives for local populations: a two-pronged approach vital to the survival of future generations of sea turtles. More than that, Vilebrequin Studio has released an exclusive father-son Moorea design, of which 10$ dollars will be donated to the association for every swimsuit sold. A message of hope, the limited edition Te mana o te moana print sees the iconic Vilebrequin swimming peacefully through a world map of coral reefs… Click here to get more information about this “Moana” edition. www.vilebrequin.com
This post is also available in: French