Protecting sea turtles

EL MANSOURI, Lebanon – On Lebanon’s beaches, endangered sea turtles have a human ally to help them in the face of myriad threats.

Mona Khalil, 77, founded The Orange House Project in 2000 to protect sea turtles on the south Lebanon beach in el Mansouri from predators, pollution and encroaching humans.

“I am teaching and encouraging the new generation how to take care of the environment and as I am getting old I want the new generation to continue what I am doing now”, she said.

With sea turtles returning to the same beach where they were born to lay their eggs, Ms Khalil relocates nests threatened by agriculture and installs metal grids to protect them from predators.

She also raises the eggs by hand at the group’s facility and released the first of this year’s baby turtles earlier this month. Every time there are new hatchings and turtles released she invites groups of families and schoolchildren to watch.

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