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January 23, 2014

Ritz-Carlton, Sanya Opens Sea Turtle Shelter

By Chris Boyle

sea turtleTo celebrate the new year in a meaningful way, The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya has opened a sea turtle shelter for turtles unable to survive in the wild.

Built in close collaboration with non-profit organization Sea Turtles 911, the shelter will rehabilitate sea turtles awaiting to be released back into their ocean home.

To enhance their conservation efforts, Sea Turtles 911 and The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya also conducted a sea turtle conservation campaign on Weibo, titled “Sea Turtle’s Way Home,” to communicate the importance of the ocean eco-system, which includes its wildlife, through showcasing our conservation activities in the past years.

They also shared information on the life of the sea turtle and the threats they face on the campaign webpage.

In the end, the Weibo campaign helped boost awareness of the sea turtle’s plight and Sea Turtles 911 and The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya’s conservation efforts.

The online poll garnered more than ten thousand wishes and votes to name a sea turtle that was released. Her name was voted as “Yeqiu” in Chinese, or “Coconut Ball” in English – a playful moniker that suits his friendly personality!

This sunny Saturday, a large crowd, consisting of volunteers from Sea Turtles 911, Blue Ocean Association, and Hainan Normal University, as well as hotel guests, gathered for the sea turtles’ release ceremony.

It also drew the Consul General of the US Consulate of Guangzhou and representatives of the National Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Association, Land Resources Bureau, Sanya Ocean & Fishery Bureau, and Sanya Tourism Board. to the hotel’s shores.

In this joyful and hopeful moment at the Sea Turtle Shelter, all parties pledged to protect the precious sea turtles and their ocean home.

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The Sea Turtle Shelter, located near Uncle Martin’s Secret Garden, was decorated with colorful ribbon. Inside, sea turtles were swimming happily.

Frederick Yeh, founder of Sea Turtles 911, Michel Goget, general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya, and other guests each picked up a rehabilitated sea turtle and gently carried it toward the ocean.

While the crowd watched, the turtle scrambled safely to the sea, ducked under the sparkling waters and vigorously swam away.

The sea turtle rescue activity was jointly launched by Sea Turtles 911 and The Ritz Carlton, Sanya, further strengthening their bilateral conservation partnership.

Mr Goget, of The Ritz Carlton, Sanya, said: “Since 2009, we began to cooperate with Sea Turtles 911 to protect sea turtles through the recursions, foster cares, freeing animals and other activities.

“We made people aware of the importance of the protection of sea turtles through continuously educating our hotel guests and local fishermen. We spoke of rescuing sea turtles in the South China Sea in order to create more survival chances for the sea turtles in the Hainan region.

“At the end of last year, we finally built a shelter for sea turtles. The handicap turtles can freely enjoy five-star care as educational ambassadors of the ocean, and rehabilitated turtles have a temporary place to stay for careful behavioral monitoring just before they begin their journey back home into the ocean.

“The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya will continuously support this meaningful event to enliven The Ritz-Carlton Community Footprints, which, in addition to environmental conservation, focuses on hunger, poverty relief and the well-being of children.”

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