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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 February 2007, 19:26 GMT
Visitors back centre for turtles
Loggerhead turtle
The nest sites of loggerhead turtles are under threat from tourism
Brighton Sea Life Centre has helped raise enough money for work to start on a sea turtle rescue project in Greece.

The centre on the island of Zakynthos, manned by Greek volunteers, will provide on-the-spot care for injured Mediterranean loggerhead turtles.

Sea Life curator Peter Jones said: "Our visitors dug deep... and enough has been raised to enable construction work to start in October."

Donors were inspired by Brighton's two resident turtles, Lulu and Jersey.

Numbers declining

Mr Jones added: "Though Lulu is a green turtle and Jersey came from the Caribbean population of loggerhead turtles rather than the Mediterranean population, both have been terrific ambassadors for the appeal."

About 90% of the Mediterranean's loggerhead turtles choose the southern beaches of Zakynthos to make their nests.

But the growth of tourism on the island has put the nesting turtle population under severe pressure and numbers have steadily declined.

The new centre will encourage holidaymakers to behave more sensitively towards the turtles and other island wildlife during their stay.


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