We at Handpicked Villas are full, square behind any form of wildlife conservation. The Caribbean is lush and wonderful due to its thriving flora and fauna populations, and this needs to be protected as the This is why when stories of such amazing people like Orton ‘Brother’ King surface, it is important to give our full support to them.
When myself and my family visited Bequia back in 2005, we had the honour of meeting Brother King when we happened upon the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary one day during our exploration of this beautiful island. The release rate and conditions of the Hawksbill Turtles he cares for and raises, is a testament to his ongoing hard work and conservation endeavours.
From a young age, this marvellous man has always been beachside, starting out life as a skin-diving fisherman. He was always fascinated by sea turtles, but immediately recognised the threat posed to them and was desperate to end their plight and avoid extinction. At 57 he retired, and dedicated his life to saving these beautiful creatures.
The work at this brilliant sanctuary involves the nurture of the baby turtles which are fed on canned tuna for 6 months, then they are fed small fish until they are three years old at which age they are released into the ocean. With this hand rearing, they have a 1 in 2 chance of reaching maturity compared to a 1 in 1000 chance if left to fend for themselves from birth. Over the past 12 years they have released over 2000 turtles back into the wild which in our eyes is an unbelievable achievement.