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PUBLISHED: May 25, 2015 7:00am

Terrapin conservation gains momentum in Kemaman

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SEAN AUGUSTIN By:
Sean Augustin

Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia (TCS) co-founder Chen Pelf Nyok explaining the different species of turtles in Malaysia to the children. — Pic courtesy of Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 25, 2015:

For World Turtle Day, Chen Pelf Nyok played tour guide to six inquisitive families which travelled all the way to Kemaman, Terengganu, from the city.

There, on the east coast, the Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia (TCS) co-founder gave them a glimpse of what the children had learnt in books, including a green turtle laying eggs on the Teluk Mak Nik beach.

Like the other visitors she had hosted on the Turtle Discovery Trip before, her latest guests learned a lot about turtles, which gives Chen a “warm fuzzy feeling”.

“That’s why I don’t mind doing this every weekend.

“In some way, I think we inspire them to want to conserve turtles” she told The Rakyat Post.

Turtle conservation is obviously Chen’s passion and this year, she has extra reason to celebrate.

A group of six from Kampung Pasir Gajah in Kemaman has volunteered to be part of the society’s river terrapin conservation programme.

This is great news for two reasons. This new group will make a total of four groups along the Kemaman river to volunteer in the initiative.

The others are from Kampung Binjai and Kampung Dadong.

This clearly shows that more locals are keen on conserving the reptile whose eggs were once a delicacy.

The second reason is because the Kampung Pasir Gajah Village Security and Development Committee has agreed to build a hatchery and an office for the project in the area.

“They want to take ownership of the project, which is what we want them to do.”

She said the society would play an advisory role.

Some of the children who took part in the Turtle Discovery Trip studying the eggs and the hatchlings  — Pic courtesy of Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia
Some of the children who took part in the Turtle Discovery Trip studying the eggs and the hatchlings — Pic courtesy of Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia

Chen hopes the emergence of this fourth group would inspire even more villagers to come forward to help in conservation efforts.

“After all, the first group inspired the second to join the initiative.”

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