Jumat, 29 Januari 2021

Harry, The Maldivian Sea Turtle, Needs Your Help - Forbes

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As you plan your post-pandemic travels, here’s a way to help bring some of the benefits of tourism to the dream destination of the Maldives—by adopting a sea turtle.

A sick turtle named Harry

An adult male Hawksbill turtle was found floating unusually near the Maldives’ Alif Alif Atoll in December 2020. Though he didn’t appear to have any external wounds, he didn’t have the strength to swim.

With the help of a supply boat and two speed boats, and despite two days of very bad weather, the turtle eventually arrived at the Olive Ridley Project’s marine turtle rescue center on the Baa Atoll. The turtle, given the name Harry, received x-rays, pain medication, and antibiotics—plus treats of squid to entice him to eat. So far, he’s had only modest improvements. After two surgeries, Harry is now getting fed blended fish via a tube twice a day as veterinarians try to diagnosis his mysterious illness.

Patina Maldives, Fari Islands’ support of sea turtles

Harry came to my attention thanks to a brand new Maldives resort, called Patina Maldives, Fari Islands, which will open in May 2021. The resort has a partnership with the Olive Ridley Project (ORP) to protect the Maldives’ sea turtles and their habitat.

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Patina Maldives, Fari Islands is a resort on next-door islands in the Maldives’ North Atoll. It’s about 20 minutes by speedboat from Velana International Airport and 50 minutes from Malé International Airport. The well-being of the earth, its waters, and all its inhabitants is important to Patina Maldives, Fari Islands. The five-star resort is aimed at guests who seek a meaningful connection with the world and with themselves, and creates experiences to fulfill that.

The property has 90 villas and 20 studios that exude serenity. Designed by Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan, the resort has an elegant, modern, and minimalist look, quite different from many other properties in the region. Accommodations feature luxe furnishings, original art, outdoor bathtubs, hammocks, private pools, and a floor-to-ceiling window system that allows villas to be open to the views on three sides. You can choose from one to three bedrooms and choose to be on the beach or “floating” over the crystal clear ocean (perhaps with a healthy turtle swimming by).

Guests at the sustainably-built Patina Maldives, Fari Islands can learn more about marine conservation and wildlife via several resort initiatives. For example, there’s a coral seeding program to protect and build up habitat for a wide variety of undersea life. Kids have free scuba diving lessons to get up close and personal with underwater Maldives. And, of course, guests can “adopt” a turtle, learn more about the threats they face, and why it’s important for the ORP to track and photo-ID the turtles of the Indian Ocean.

The Olive Ridley Project

The Indian Ocean that surrounds the 1,192 islands of the Maldives is rich in sea life. But, as in many of the world’s waterways, there are also hazards for those animals. Turtles are at particular risk of getting tangled in and injured by ghost gear—lost and abandoned fishing nets. Some turtles die from exhaustion or dehydration as they try to free themselves. Others have severe injuries that can include deep cuts that might mean the loss of a flipper.

Dr. Martin Stelfox, a biologist curious about injured turtles in the Maldives, founded the Olive Ridley Project in 2013. Named for one of the five species of sea turtles found in the Maldives, ORP is a registered charity in England and Wales. Over the years, it expanded its mandate to protect sea turtles and their habitats in the Maldives as well as in Kenya, Oman, and Pakistan.

The ORP has two marine turtle rescue centers within the Maldives that provide veterinary care to injured turtles. Some can be rehabilitated well enough that they are released back to the ocean.

Adopt Harry, Azura, Xena or another sea turtle

At the Olive Ridley Project’s Adopt a Turtle Patient website, pick the turtle that you’d like to symbolically adopt and make a donation of a minimum of 50 pounds (about $68 US; your credit card company or Paypal will do the conversion). You can adopt a turtle patient who needs extra help or one of the newly-identified turtles in OPR’s database. You might even get to give it a name.

Whether as a gift or for yourself, you’ll soon receive an adoption certificate, a website link to keep progress on the health of your turtle, and the good feeling that your donation is helping heal creatures like Harry and protect their Indian Ocean habitat.

You’ll then be ready to plan your post-pandemic dream trip to the Maldives with a stay at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands.

The Link Lonk


January 30, 2021 at 07:51AM
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Harry, The Maldivian Sea Turtle, Needs Your Help - Forbes

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