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“Excellent...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary

Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary
Union Vale, Park Bay, Bequia
784-458-3245
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Ranked #1 of 2 Attractions in Park Bay
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Outdoors
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Attraction details
Owner description: A local fisherman, Orton (Brother) King, constructed this sanctuary in an effort to preserve the hawksbill turtle.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Excellent...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014

We walked from the harbour over the hill to the Turtle Sanctuary soon after arriving in Admiralty Bay - great walk and lovely to visit a worthwhile project. Small scale but still doing its little bit for hawksbill turtle conservation. Do go and support these guys.

Visited April 2014
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116 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Oakville, Canada
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Worth the visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

We stopped into the Turtle Sanctuary on our self driven tour of the island. Although the beaches on that side of the island were a disappointment the visit to the turtle sanctuary was not. Lots of turtles to check out and the 20 minutes we had 1 on 1 with the owner/manager of the sanctuary was very informative. Not open on Saturdays!

Visited March 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, BC
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Well worth a visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2014

We visited the sanctuary in Dec 2013 having landed in Port Elizabeth on our ship for the day.

It is great to see one individual's contribution to conservation, it may not be everyone's idea of how to give back but certainly Brother King, a former fisherman, is at least doing something.

If you do visit try to arrive in the morning this is the most likely time when you can meet the owner and get his story. His willingness to share with you his knowledge of these turtles is special.

Much better to hear an opinion on an endangered species from someone who is doing something than someone who places human attributes on them (sad eyes indeed).

Free to visit but please do leave a donation as Brother King funds his effort on his own dime.

Visited December 2013
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Brighton, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Backward outdated conservation”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2014

We visited the Old Hegg turtle 'sanctuary' on 03.03.14. What greeted us was a few small tanks with a large hawksbill turtle (possibly 20 years) swimming up and down demented in the confines of the soulless tank. Also in the same tank 12 smaller green turtles (I believe turtles are naturally solitary?). In addition, two small child sized paddling pools with large turtles (one deformed) looking sadly up at us; and lastly a tank of very small turtles newly hatched. In my experience turtles hatch and head directly to the sea, where only the fittest survive to go on to breed, and therefore maintain fitness for future generations. However, by spending formative years in a tank, survival skills such as feeding are not learnt; while the stress of captivity causes increased risk of parasites and disease. We understood that a few hundred turtles have been released, but survival success does not appear to be monitored, or fitness if they go onto breed. Indeed, although this is hearsay, we heard of a turtle being released to the joy of a group of tourists, although the turtle pulled his head into his body and remained motionless; a far cry from hatching and heading straight to the sea as nature intended. While a fair few of the local people on asking us the purpose of our visit to the island expressed their negative concerns toward the 'sanctuary'. Certainly we will never forget those sad eyes looking pitifully up from the paddling pool; backward out dated 'conservation'. My suggestion would be to travel a little further and see the turtles swimming freely at the Tobago cays... a once in a lifetime experience!.......

Visited March 2014
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Edmonton, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Turtle Experience”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2014

Went to the turtle sanctuary out of interest of turtles. I admire what the Gentleman is doing to try and save these beautiful turtles. Makes me sad that the locals eat them.

Visited February 2014
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