July 3, 2022

Cayman: Turtle destined to be turned into soup is rescued and finds new home in the UK

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By Karen Rockett From Daily Mirror UK

Phoenix is the first rescued turtle to arrive in the North West of England (Image: SEALIFE CENTRE)

After being bred for food in the Cayman Islands, turtle Phoenix was brought to Blackpool 4,650 miles away

A huge and beautiful Cayman Islands sea turtle has been saved from the soup bowl – and found a new home 4,650 miles away… in Blackpool.

Called Phoenix after William Shakespeare’s poem The Phoenix and the Turtle, she was bred in captivity to end up on a menu.Turtle soup is a popular dish in the Caribbean.

But she was rescued as part of Sea Life Blackpool’s Breed, Rescue, Protect programme.

After arriving from quarantine in London at the weekend, the 19-stone creature was carefully carried into the water on a stretcher. She is the first rescued turtle to arrive in the North West of England.

Matthew Titherington, general manager at Sea Life Blackpool, says: “This is a proud moment for every single member of our team and throughout the Sea Life family.

The 19st turtle was destined for the soup bowl before she was rescued by Sea Life Blackpool (Image: SEALIFE CENTRE)

“It’s exactly what our Breed, Rescue, Protect campaign is all about and we’re so pleased to have been involved supporting the important conservation work of the Sea Life Trust.

“We’ve been really looking forward to her arrival, and she will be loved and cared for by our experienced team of aquarists. I know visitors will love her.”

The new arrival, who would not be able to survive in the wild, will help with further research into threatened species and possibly be involved in conservation and breeding programmes.

Numbers of turtles are dwindling around the globe and they are listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Scott Blacker, head aquarist at Sea Life Blackpool, says: “Despite laws protecting sea turtles in most countries, threats include being hunted for their eggs, meat and shells – a legal practice in many parts of the world where they are considered a delicacy.

“Sea turtles are also threatened by destruction of their nesting and foraging areas, as well as becoming entangled in huge commercial and industrial fishing nets and so-called ‘ghost nets’ – those which have been discarded.”

For more on this story go to: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/turtle-destined-turned-soup-rescued-18456858

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