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Opened in 2019 at Monaco’s Oceanographic Museum, a hospital for sea turtles provides a home and care for injured or distressed animals.

It all began in 2014 when a young turtle, later named Rana, was found in the Port of Monaco. The Oceanographic Museum took in the baby loggerhead turtle, measuring less than 10 cm, caring for her and reacclimatising her before releasing her back into the Mediterranean in 2018.

Caring for Rana led to the idea of establishing the Monaco Marine Life Rescue Centre (CMSEM) and taking action to improve efforts to protect these endangered animals.

They are true indicators of the health of the oceans which are quite simply threatened with extinction: all seven species are included on the red list and their total numbers have declined by more than 90% over the last few decades!” says Robert Calcagno, CEO of the Institute of Oceanography.

© Michael Alesi
© Michael Alesi

The new hospital opened in summer 2019 therefore aims to treat injured animals, whether they have been injured by fishing nets or small boats, or are simply the victims of plastic pollution.

Five separate pools have been equipped to dispense initial care to animals weighing up to 200 kg, and a huge, 160 m3 open-air aquarium, which is accessible to the public, will enable rescued animals to convalesce before being returned to the wild…

With this innovative facility, the Oceanographic Museum is giving new impetus to its efforts to protect marine species that are at risk.

The centre is part of a Mediterranean turtle rescue network and also accepts injured animals from partner aquariums in other countries.

© Michael Alesi
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