Thursday, 8 September 2011

Belawa Turtle Park

This is a small place that may be of interest to animal lovers, situated about 20 km from Cirebon city centre. The turtles (not sure if they are turtles/terrapins or tortoise) here are endemic to this small area outside Cirebon. The Latin name for this species is "Tortoise Aquatic Ortilia Norneensis". They grow to be about 100kg or more. I have tried to contact turtle conservation groups for more info on these turtles but have not been successful. The myths of the local people says that they cannot be raised/bred anywhere but this area. There are stories of people taking these turtles away to other places but the turtle always die or disappear from their new surroundings. There is a breeding program here to try and repopulate this very rare species of turtle. Unfortunately like many places in Indonesia they are under-funded so the place isn't really too nice. The workers will gladly show you around and if your lucky you may get to see hatchlings breaking out of their eggs.

Since I was last at this place about 70% of the turtle population contracted a disease and died. I have heard that many of the big ones have gone now, such a shame as there were turtles here over 100 years old. After the tragedy there was some money injected into this small park to improve water and living conditions so I can't comment on the state of the place now.

There is a legend surrounding these turtle and a local boy hundreds of years ago. I haven't been able to find a good translation (google translate sucks) but will add the story and an update of the state of the place and the health of the turtles as soon as I get back out there.

Also having trouble locating the place on google so again I will update soon with google link. It is in the Kanci area 20km East of Cirebon off the main coast road.

1 comment:

  1. maaf kalo boleh saya minta izin untuk save foto kura kura nya .