Of #TurtleDiscoveryTrip and #WorldTurtleDay
In the past 3 weekends, I have been giving guided tours to participants of the Turtle Discovery Trip that Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia (TCS) offers. The guided tour is put together specifically for members of the public who would like to learn about turtles, hence the name. Also packed in the Turtle Discovery Trip is a first-in-a-lifetime opportunity to release green turtle hatchlings into the South China Sea.
The best thing about these trips is that people come to us, without much knowledge of the turtles, and wanting to learn about them. Giving briefings to these people who are genuinely interested to find out more about what the society does, and how they could, in turn, help us, has been the highlight of my weekends. As they learn more about our challenges in securing sufficient funding to operate the society and conduct turtle-related activities, they step out and give really helpful suggestions on who we could approach, and we could go about doing it.
Those who are not in a position to recommend us any corporate sponsors would instead go home and tell their family, neighbors, friends and colleagues about us, and this helps us in a great way too :D
I am a little saddened that the fourth and last Turtle Discovery Trip is coming too soon. It had been a great pleasure hosting the participants and sharing our little world of turtles with them.
If you would like to participate in our guided Turtle Discovery Trip (more info about the trip here), please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. A minimum party of 8 pax is required.
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Participants of the third Turtle Discovery Trip were very lucky because we threw in an additional activity! A total of 200 one-month-old river terrapin hatchlings were released into the Kemaman River in an inaugural World Turtle Day celebration in Kemaman. World Turtle Day is celebrated on the 23rd May of every year, and what better way to celebrate it than with a big group of turtle enthusiasts from KL, Singapore, Melaka and Kuala Terengganu?
It warms my heart that some 100 people including the local villagers and visitors turned up for the release ceremony. The police were invited, the Village Development and Security Committee members were present, the “terrapin gang” members were there with their respective family members, and even the Department of Wildlife and National Parks officer came to the event!
Words cannot describe how lucky and thankful I am for the opportunity to work alongside some very dedicated people :D It has been pure joy, and I look forward to working with them again next year :D
To the villagers who could be reading this: Semoga anda semua panjang umur dan murah rezeki! :D (May you all be blessed with good health and abundance in life)