Turtle release opportunity for Kapiti tourism award winner

Kapiti Island Nature Tours staff, Manaaki Barrett and Skye Chadwick, joined SEALIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium, local iwi Ngāti Kahu and Ngai Takoto, and DOC to return Calvin, an endangered green turtle, to the wild at Rangiputa in Northland, today.

In 2018, Kapiti Island Nature Tours was awarded the prestigious Environmental Tourism Award at the New Zealand Tourism Awards. This award acknowledged their role as kaitiaki of Kapiti Island and their impressive conservation work.

This trip, organised by DOC (sponsor of the Environmental Tourism Award), recognised Kapiti Island Nature Tours’ commitment to sustainability.

“Kapiti Island Nature Tours is showing New Zealand that tourism businesses don’t have to choose between success and sustainability – they go hand-in-hand. We were pleased to welcome their staff on this trip,’ said Brendan Holland, DOC Marketing Manager.

The award-winners also enjoyed a behind-the-scenes experience at Auckland Zoo, engaging with specialist teams there who work with some of our most precious, endangered species. They then travelled north to Rangiputa, close to where the injured turtle washed ashore over 14 months ago.

Calvin the green turtle was cared for initially by the team at Auckland Zoo before he made his temporary home at SEALIFE Kelly Tarlton’s. While there, the rehabilitation team nursed him back to a healthy 20 kgs from the alarming 11 kg he weighed when found.

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