• Credits photographs: Eric Mathon for the photograph of unveiling in the presence of SA the princess Charlène

  • Credits photographs: M.Dagnino

  • Credits photographs: M.Dagnino


Credits photographs: Eric Mathon for the photograph of unveiling in the presence of SA the princess Charlène

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The Isle of Turtles launched by Oceanographic Museum of Monaco

côte d'azur | …news & info

25 April 2012

Inaugurated on April 24th by SA Princess Charlène of Monaco encircled with children of Principality (Prince Albert II leisure centre), « the Island to the Turtles » opens its doors to the public today and allows to enrich the experience of visiting the Museum in a playful way while sensitizing the visitors in the reason of the earth turtles and also sea turtles.

From today, the general public can discover in the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, this new development accomplished on the west panoramic terrace giving a view in 360 ° on Monaco, between sea and mountain.

The Island to the turtles: a relaxation space organized around 3 poles

1. A new pole reserved for the living being: A space devoted to discovery and to protection of the turtles, earth and sea turtles. The children will be able to meet the turtles also known as sulcata (the 3rd biggest turtle of the Earth). From Mali, they are the ambassadors of the intriguing world having crossed several millenniums... Panels of information sensitize the public in their history, their environment, their needs. This space supplements our big receptacle which receives a sea turtle very appreciated by babies and big ones.

2. A space of games linked to the topic of the sea: a play zone where the young children have access to a 15 metres long big game representing the skeleton of a whale. Wooden accomplished games of environmental quality.

3. A zone of relaxation ("Lounge"): The offer of relaxation of the west terrace will be supplemented by the installation of benches, pergolas and of a new terrace raised the height for the parents where they will be able to quench thirst, have a rest and watch the children who will enjoy these spaces.

Our new guests, the turtles from Mali, an outstanding history:

Intriguing animals, from the night of time, in the middle of myths and in the middle of legends, the arrival of our 7 turtles was not a « long quiet river ».

It is as part of the links of friendship and as collaboration between the Republic of Mali and the Principality of Monaco that these turtles were given to the S.A.S. Prince Albert II of Monaco last February, during an official trip. Prince Albert II liked to entrust them to the oceanographic Museum to create a space of discovery and sensitization of the public for the protection of the threatened turtles.

Called sillone turtles (they owe their name to the visible deep grooves on their scales), they are from 2 to 20 years old, weighing more than 20 kilograms for the biggest, they will evolve in a paysagistic enclosure of 80 m ². A soil composed of earth and sand livened up with vegetables, with rocks, with stocks of trees and watering places, will allow them, under the look of the small and big visitors, to move, to take shelter, to quench thirst and to refresh itself. They will also be able to take shelter in « the bubble to the turtles » which will be supported in a specific temperature to protect them from the lowest temperatures. This bubble of 20 m ² all over its location and its constitution, will guarantee a good quality of observation for the public.

By receiving a threatened kind of turtles, the Museum reinforces its role of sensitization of the general public on the protection of biodiversity

Robert Calcagno, oceanographic managing director of the Institut explains: « To protect animal kinds and to make them known by the general public is a stake for future. To preserve treasures of our planet, all planet, earth as sea, always registers in our stocks. The sillone turtle, this animal today threatened, is strong symbol that our planet is a whole and that it everything is essential and interconnected ». To sensitize the public in the reason of the sillone turtle will allow to enlarge problems to all the turtles threatened and protected all over the world.

The turtles represent 310 kinds in the World. Mediterranean Sea receives 5 kinds of marine turtles on the 8 presents in the oceans. One turtle of two is threatened with disappearing due to the Man today.

To the general public, the Oceanographic Museum has a role of sensitization and development of good practices and good gestures as the protection of the turtles the Museum also treats on the marine turtles

- The exhibition «Mediterranean Sea» introduces splendour and fragility of our «pool nostrum» and of its biodiversity among which the turtles,

- the Oceanographic Museum is a member of Network Marine Turtles of Mediterranean Sea, it collects information on the present turtles on these coasts and studies the failed specimens or found in the sea. Reasons of the disappearance of the turtles are so better known and resolutions are offered to protect them.

- the Oceanographic Museum saves the hurt turtles. Once treated, specimens are ringed then unloosed into the sea.