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A luxurious spa treatment for some special residents - free of charge!

Royal Gazette

By Jessie Moniz
Published Nov 6, 2012 at 8:00 am

Kermit the Frog famously said: ‘It ain’t easy being green.’ Green sea turtles at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo would probably agree.

Sometimes being green smells a bit.

A group of nine from the Fairmont Hamilton recently gave six turtles first class spa treatment staff, a few hotel guests, and an interested student joined in Fairmont’s Green Partnership Programme which encourages staff to take part in environmental initiatives and give back to the community.

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Fairmont Hamilton Princess employee
Derek Wheeler giving a bath to a turtle at the
Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo.

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Fairmont Hamilton Princess
employee Shiloh Whalen

“It was fun scrubbing turtles,” said Kerrie Aubrey, the hotel’s concierge agent. “When we first arrived there was a smell and I thought it smelled a bit like the ocean. I live by the ocean so I am used to that. After a short time, I didn’t notice because I was too busy giving my lady turtle her exfoliating scrub.”

The BAMZ Green Turtle exhibit stands outside the Flatts facility by the road. It introduces visitors to the Bermuda Turtle Project and offers an opportunity to focus on the importance of conservation and education to the protection of our oceanic island environment.

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Staff from the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo
and staff from the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel
weigh and measure green sea turtles

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Staff from the Fairmont Hamilton Princess
give green sea turtles a scrub down

The residents of this tank need to be scrubbed periodically to help remove the algae from their shells, which would otherwise be removed by parasites in the wild. The tank is drained and cleaned monthly, but algae grows quickly on the shells especially because the water in the tank is a little warmer than the ocean. Parasites would keep down this algae in the wild, but in captivity the green turtles need help from humans.

Aquarium staff took the bath as an opportunity to weigh and measure the turtles. Their weight varied between 148lbs and 297lbs.

“Staff at the hotel have done this in the past but this was my first time,” said Ms Aubrey. “I love the environment and I have volunteered at the Aquarium. It took us about an hour to clean and measure them. Some turtles were cleaner than others. I picked the dirtiest and unhappiest lady. She definitely did not appreciate being cleaned. She was constantly trying to move. I don’t think they were too distressed, but it is definitely not part of their regular routine.”

Useful website: www.conserveturtles.org/bermuda/