Attraction Has Shelled Out For New Arrivals
Photographs by Patrick -
WE often get asked to go to Blackpool by
representatives of many of its attractions and, as some of our
readers know, we do sometimes head over the river and take a look at
what is going on. This time what grabbed our attention was the
arrival of new freshwater turtles to the seaside town’s Sea Life
centre, located on the Promenade, next to the Blackpool Tower. Well
in fact it was more the email subject title:- "VIP Green
Carpet Arrivals" that got our original attention!
The centre has created a new exhibit that is designed to be a
sanctuary for many turtles who have outgrown their former homes and
also some that have been rescued after being smuggled in to the UK
through its airports and sea ports. Some of the illegally imported
turtles might have come from Liverpool Airport and Manchester
Airport. Sadly in recent years, customs officers have seen an
increase in the smuggling of rare and endangered species.
In 2011 the WWF International said that the trade in animal
smuggling was producing an estimated £6bn or more in revenues, which
was often exceeded only by the drugs and arms trades. Often when any
chain of payments has been traced, its illicit profits have often
been found to be a major source of funding for civil wars, terrorist
and militia groups, including al-Qa'ida. Also the profits have
often, in part, been put back in to the system to further finance
the snaring and slaughtering of other animals that are on the brink
Blackpool’s lucky turtles which have been save from this trade have
now been able to join the other former pet turtles in the hopes that
all the newly housed creatures can help to save some of the
endangered species in the wild, via the Turtle Shelter’s new
Sea life Blackpool’s General Manager, Jenn Hewton said:- “"s
well as providing the ideal homes for a variety of freshwater
turtles, it will be an educational display as well. The attraction
will let visitors learn about the conservation needs of both
freshwater and sea turtles. They have existed for at least 200
million years, but recent man -made changes to their eco-systems
have resulted in several species becoming endangered. There will be
giant turtle eggs, interactive games and even baby robotic turtles
emerging from their shells. It will truly be a must see for all
turtle fans, when fully completed!"
Already on display are Fly River or 'pig-nosed'
turtles from Australia, Common Snapping Turtles and Alligator
Snapping Turtles from the US; not forgetting False Map Turtles from
the Mississippi River; Red Eared and Yellow Bellied Terrapins; plus
Asian Soft Shell Turtles.
The specially designed attraction has been inspired by the shape and
make up of turtles, with all rockwork, shelter roofs and materials
taking reference from turtle shells, skin and structure.
Other features of the new exhibit include a special
periscope that allows visitors to see what a turtle sees underwater
and a magnetic maze challenge to navigate a baby turtle through, to
safety. The maze will teach children about the dangerous hazards
they could expect to face in the wild if they were real turtles!
On our visit we also took a quick look at the rest of the
attraction, which houses a shark tank and many other fishy, and some
crabby, enticements. For more information on ideas of where to go
for Summer 2012, see the venues
website. Also you can contact
them if you have a Turtle or Terrapin you need re-housing.
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