Turtle museum hatched at the zoo
April 4, 2003
A museum dedicated to the study and conservation of marine turtles was on Monday declared open in the compound of the Zoological Park by the Guyana Marine Turtle Conservation Society (GMTCS).
The small building displays a map of the Shell Beach area, posters of the various species of marine turtles, as well as turtle artifacts and finds of marine life from Shell Beach. Annette Arjoon, Project Co-ordinator of the GMTCS, told the gathering that the idea for the museum came about soon after the commissioning of the turtle monument in front of Le Meridien Pegasus Hotel. Many students, she said, would throng her small office almost on a daily basis, asking questions on the work of the GMTCS.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the GMTCS and the National Parks Commission was signed in early January leading to the museumís establishment. The project had an implementation deadline of March 31, according to General Manager of the National Parks Commission, Inge Nathoo, who was pleased that the completion date had been met.
Arjoon added that her organisation chose the zoo because of the large number of visitors it receives every day, and secondly, most of those visitors were students.
She indicated that the Society would host monthly lectures at the museum on its conservation work. She added that at the moment, the Society did not have the human resources to maintain a permanent staff but that this was being studied. The museum would be opened during the day by the staff of the zoo, Arjoon noted.
The building took two months to complete with help coming from the Bank of Nova Scotia, Readymix Concrete, Mings Products and Services and B&K International, according to Arjoon. The National Parks Commission donated the space for the building.
The event also served as an opportunity to raise funds for the GMTCS, as persons were invited to sponsor tiles for a donation of $5,000, after which the names of the sponsors are to be engraved on that tile. Similarly, persons could have their names written on symbolic turtle eggs, represented by tennis balls, for a donation of $2,000. Retired Guyana Defence Force Major-General Joe Singh, Executive Director of Conservation International Guyana and Harripersaud Nokta, Minister of Local Government were among the first donors at Mondayís event.