A sea turtle of the species Caretta caretta

"Let me introduce myself…I am a sea turtle of the species Caretta caretta, I would like to tell you how I ended up at the Aquarium of Seville and why I am now happily living here and I am also the mascot. Are you ready?

I was born far away from here, in an area of Africa where turtles are still often spawning. I specifically came from an egg from the island of Boa Vista in Cape Verde. Important scientists of the Doñana Biological Station (CSIC) guarded the nest in order to conserve my species, moving it to Spain."

The story of Chelo

"After hatching, they fed and cared for us at the CEGMA in Algeciras, a recovery center, for one year. After that time almost all the thirteen turtles were released back into the marine environment on a beach in Cabo de Gata in Almería. When they are adults they will return to that same area to lay their eggs there (this is due to what we call philopatry and this is a very special thing that us turtles always do).

Of the thirteen turtles that remained, stable pairs of males and females were put together. We were the second part of the conservation project of my species. Each couple was then transferred to a collaborating entity and in 2014 I was assigned to the Seville Aquarium together with Nando. The intention was that we will soon reach sexual maturity and then reproduce here at the aquarium, so that the turtles born from our eggs can be returned to the sea. Then, little by little we will help to ensure the survival of our species in the ocean environment, where there are many dangers that lie in wait for us. Each time it becomes more difficult to survive.

Now I am the animal representative of this Aquarium because they named me their mascot! For them it is very important that everyone who comes to visit us understands that that we are very interested in protecting all of our female companions that live in the sea.

More and more people want to meet me and ask about Chelo! Now you can tell them all about me!"
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