Merlin to Save Turtles in Deadly Research Project
When the news recently spread that seven highly endangered green sea turtles will be intentionally killed this spring in a University of British Columbia research project, people were outraged.
Now Merlin Entertainments Group, a U.K.-based company that operates more than 30 Sea Life Centres (â€śthe worldâ€™s biggest aquarium brandâ€ť according to its web site), has a proposal: It is offering to help the university get tissue from dead sea turtles to spare the lives of the seven young turtles, who will be rehomed in the company’s aquariums.
AÂ Vancouver Sun story reporting that the aquarium wanted to trade seven of its older or injured turtles for the young turtles was erroneous, according to Sea Life Centres spokesman Mark Oakley. “Sea Life did not, nor ever would, offer to exchange our own turtles for those at UBC,” he wrote in an email message to Change.org members who had signed a petition protesting the idea.
Instead, Oakley wrote, the tissues needed for the UBC research project would be sourced “from either newly dead turtles or those requiring euthanizing at turtle rescue facilities, but this would be done on location by professional veterinary surgeons. The tissues would then be frozen and stored in readiness for shipping to UBC. Were any of our own turtles to die or require euthanizing then the same offer would apply, but happily our own turtles are all in good health at present.”