Ecotourism Australia certified tourism operators not only focus on environmental and business sustainability, but they also often look at investing time and efforts into giving back to local communities and wildlife.
Big4 Atherton Woodlands Tourist Park, located near Cairns, recently sent us Woody’s story and we found it quite inspiring for both individuals and businesses. Whether you are an animal lover or a business owner trying to do the right thing, we hope this will encourage some readers to seek similar projects in their area.
Woody is a juvenile Hawksbill turtle with a rather a special story in that he was found floating between Cairns and Green Island. A member of the public spotted him and reported him to the QLD Parks Rangers who picked him up. He was rescued by the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and then sent to the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on Fitzroy Island. After a check-up, Woody appeared to be severely underweight and did not seem to be interested in eating for over 6 weeks and during this time was force fed. He finally started eating squid that was offered to him and now happily eats between 24-28 squid a day. As he recovers, his food intake will increase to up to 30 squid a day. Woody has still got a long way to go before he is released and needs to put on a lot more weight. It will take one to two years for him to fully recuperate and to be returned to the sea.
The Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre (CTRC) has recently achieved Advanced Ecotourism certification and treats injured and sick marine turtles brought in from the Great Barrier Reef and Cape York Peninsula. Personal commitments and donations from local businesses keep the centre running with more than 170 sick and injured animals brought in for treatment over the past 10 years.
Big4 Atherton Woodlands Tourist Park pay $100 per month for his rehabilitation and as they were his sole sponsor and he was unnamed, they were allowed to call him Woody after their local Woodlands Park.
Big4 Atherton Woodlands Tourist Park promote Woody’s story wherever they can and in particular in their Nature Tourism certified cabins. A donation to his upkeep is given for each stay in one of the eco cabins. They have recently added a 2 Bedroom Eco Family Villa to their property.
For more information about the Cairns Rehabilitation Centre or to sponsor a turtle like Woody, visit their website.
For more information about Big4 Atherton Woodlands Tourist Park or to book your stay and help Woody, visit their website.