Launch of Scotland´s First Turtle Sanctuary
Eighteen illegal immigrants will be among the residents of a new refuge for freshwater turtles opening at the Scottish SEA LIFE Sanctuary on Thursday 7th April 2011.

Though primarily for rare and endangered species, the new facility will host 18 Mississippi Map Turtles (photo right) that are not endangered but that arrived in the UK without the correct papers and were confiscated by Customs officers.
Mississippi Map Turtles
There were moiré than 100 of them, but the rest are happily ensconced at similar facilities in Weymouth, Birmingham and Scarborough after being delivered into the care of SEA LIFE by the Heathrow-based Specialist Wildlife Service.

The new sanctuary in Oban is the latest in a network of breeding centres designed to build captive stocks of endangered freshwater turtles lest reintroduction programmes are needed in the future.
Australian snake-necked Turtles "We will also have snapping turtles, Australian snake-necked turtles (photo left), yellow-bellied sliders and box turtles," said Scottish SEA LIFE boss Craig Connor.

One of the largest residents will be snapping turtle Grumpy Gordy, named after former PM Gordon Brown, who was already living at the Sanctuary after being re-homed there over a year ago.
"A lot of the turtles are former domestic pets whose owners bought them when they were tiny and didn´t realise how large they can grow and how much care they need," said Craig.

"Part of the new facility´s mission will be to discourage people from making similar purchases in future.

"We´re excited to have been chosen to host the first turtle sanctuary in Scotland," he added. "It also links neatly to SEA LIFE´s big conservation mission this year which is to raise enough cash to complete a rescue centre for endangered sea turtles on the Greek island of Zakynthos."
Issued by The Scottish SEA LIFE Sanctuary
For more details, please contact Craig Connor on 01631 720386
Press Release date: 30th March 2011