Sunday, 17 May 2009

A Capulatta Turtle Sanctuary

With an extra half an hour for the journey up to Calvi, I decided to stop off at the A Capulatta turtle sanctuary, about 15-20 minutes north of Ajaccio. I have been here before and remembered that the entrance fee was quite high, but I was still surprised to be charged 9.50€ for an adult! That said, I do think the park is quite well laid out with lots of information about turtles and tortoises for the kids, and a few ‘did you know’s for the adults too.

Did you know…
The temperature at which turtle eggs are incubated can help determine sex. 28 degrees seems to be the magic number and of those eggs incubated above 28° the majority will be males, and of those incubated below, the majority will be females.

The first section I found a little bit boring – we have Hermann’s tortoises in the grounds where we live – but as you move round to the gigantic and exotic varieties, it gets more interesting. I inadvertently entered into a staring competition with one of the Galapagos turtles and got quite freaked out! The sheer size of these animals is seriously impressive, especially their feet/paws or whatever you call them.

They have tried to make the park as much like their natural habitat as possible and there are some really lovely ponds in the exotic section, as well as beautiful Irises, water lilies and a gorgeous Japanese maple.

Did you know…
I was amazed to see cats sunbathing in various enclosures, but apparently it’s essential to they help keep the mouse population under control as rodents often attack the tortoises and turtles, particularly during the hibernation period. The cats play such an important role, that they are actively encouraged.

So was it worth the 9.50€ entrance fee? If you’re planning to stay the whole day, picnic there and really study all the information available, then maybe. If like me you only wanted to pop in for an hour and be nosy, it’s perhaps a bit pricey.

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