“Esperanza,” after being attacked by two dogs has become the most attended sea turtle at the Hospital in Xcaret

(Xcaret, Cancun Family Park)

It is wonderful to see the sea turtles at Xcaret, both those little ones enjoying the whirlpools that make the water falling into the ponds, and the huge ones swimming in the beautiful lagoon, close to the Caribbean Sea. What few people know is that here in Xcaret there is a space, a specialized hospital, where sea turtles in the wild are treated for illness and wounds. Xcaret is a site approved by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) to take care of sea turtles.

Xcaret is very proud of being a Management Unit for the Wildlife Conservation (UMA), says Ana Negrete, who is the coordinator of Sea Turtles Conservation Program in this family Eco- Park “We have the responsibility to take care of the injured or sick sea turtles that people bring to us. At the Xcaret Sea Turtle hospital we treat and rehabilitate them, and when they are perfectly healthy, we release them back into the sea.

Ana’s team is integrated by four enthusiastic young people who have a strong vocation for caring for animals, especially sea turtles. Gladys Lopez is in charge of routine treatment for them. She prepares their diets and carries out the biological monitoring of each one. Yukio Pon, Adrian Rodriguez and Luis Adrian Chan are responsible for cleaning and maintenance of the hospital and all exhibits of sea turtles at Xcaret (Cancun Family Park)

Ana told us about many histories about some sea turtles that have been saved at the hospital in Xcaret. One of them is “Esperanza”, which is still in the hospital, under the care of Ana’s team.

“Esperanza (in English “Hope”) was brought to the Xcaret sea turtle hospital by people of “Flora Fauna y Cultura” organization, in 2007. This sea turtle was well known in Caampechen beach, because it had been nesting there for 5 years. Then it was attacked by two dogs that wrenched a big part of her pectoral muscle. The sea turtle was treated with antibiotics, honey and washed with iodine to prevent infection, but unfortunately it lost her front flippers.

“Esperanza” is still recovering, but she’s doing it very well. Because it only has two stumps on the front flippers, she cannot be released. Xcaret always return to the wild those sea turtles treated in the hospital, but she is a very special case. It is definitely the most attended turtle in the hospital.

This sea turtle could have no better name and it is certainly a great lesson for all of us. It has a message of life and hope, and how much we can do for our environment. Every time you come to Xcaret, you help us to preserve sea turtles!