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If you see a giant land tortoise, whale shark or nesting turtle in Seychelles

09 Dec 2022

Seychelles is home to some of the most unique fauna and flora on the planet. Most of which live freely in their natural environment. As her guardians, it is our responsibility to ensure this is protected to the end. As such, it is necessary that our visitors are aware of the code of conduct and respectful of our pristine eco-systems.

The general principle is DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING. It is forbidden to remove any shells, sand or coral reef. Do not stand on coral reef while snorkelling. Do not remove plants. Do not litter.

DO NOT DISTURB or HARM animals nor feed them - unless you have been authorised to feed them by your official guide. Respect that this is their natural environment that you are visiting. Do not sit on or try to ride giant tortoises, nor touch them for that matter. Keep a fair distance, they may be slow but they can bite. Do not panic either on land or in the water, our locals are probably less interested in you than you are in them.

FUN FACT: Did you know there are more giant tortoises than people in Seychelles? Meet Esmeralda (he's male), Seychelles' oldest tortoise on record, my pic taken on Bird Island.

Some precious creatures require more awareness of code of conduct around them, for which we've put together some local information available to share with you below:

IF YOU SEE A WHALE SHARK, THE LARGEST FISH IN THE WORLD
Source & Pic credit: Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority

The first whale shark to be described in the Indian Ocean was in 1828. Here in Seychelles ‘Whale shark season’ starts from September to November. Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) “Sagren” in creole, are the world’s biggest sharks and thus the biggest fish. They can grow up to 20m. The gentle giants are carnivorous filter feeders and feed on plankton.

To swim along with the biggest fish in the world is indeed a remarkable experience and to avoid disturbing the gentle giant it is recommended that:

• Not more than 10 swimmers be in the water
• Boat should remain at least 10m away from the shark
• Maximum time of interaction should be 90 minutes
• Swimmers should not restrict the movement or behavior of the shark
• Swimmers should not touch or ride the animal
• No flash photography be used with the animal
Let us know if you spot the largest fish SPGA Tel (+248) 2818800 or (+248) 2724996.

Here is a recent Whale Shark Encounter Code issued Sept 2023 by the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles.

 
IF YOU SEE A TURTLE ON THE BEACH (NESTING), CODE OF CONDUCT
Source: Marine Conservation SocietyIF YOU ENCOUNTER WILDLIFE/AN ANIMAL IN NEED OF CARE

Do NOT handle wildlife. Contact Protect Paradise Seychelles Tel. +248 2757877 or Greenline +248 2722111 if you encounter an animal in need of care.

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