This Hotel in Jamaica Is Auctioning Off the Chance to Name an Endangered Mother Sea Turtle

Proceeds will go to the Oracabessa Bay Turtle Project.

A resort in Jamaica is auctioning off a chance to name a mother sea turtle as her babies hatch on the beach.

Back in May, the Jamaica Inn, set against a backdrop of turquoise water and buttery sand in the Ocho Rios part of the island, tagged a mother Hawksbill sea turtle who came upon the resort’s beach to nest, the hotel shared with Travel + Leisure.

Now, the resort is auctioning off a chance to name her to raise money for the Oracabessa Bay Turtle Project, which the hotel said helps protect endangered sea turtles.

“At Jamaica Inn, our native endangered Hawksbill sea turtles have been an integral part of our resort ecosystem for many years and our guests have come to know us for the annual nestings and hatchings that happen right on our shores,” the Jamaica Inn’s general manager, Kyle Mais, told T+L. “While our guests cannot physically be on-property for the experience, we recognize how important it is to still offer them a way to interact with the native sea turtles and contribute to our ongoing protection efforts, which is how our turtle naming auction came about.”

sea turtle
Courtesy of Jamaica Inn

Hawksbill sea turtles are named for their pointed beaks and patterned shells, which unfortunately also makes them highly-valuable and in danger of being sold as "tortoiseshell" in markets, according to the World Wildlife Fund. They are considered critically endangered.

Bids for the auction start at $100 and can be completed online until Aug. 31, according to the hotel. The highest bidder will get the chance to name the mother turtle and will receive photos of her adorable hatchlings as well as updates on when she returns to the beach.

Turtles in Jamaica
Courtesy of Jamaica Inn

“It has been such an enriching experience for many guests over the years to witness this incredible act of nature happen before their eyes, while also seeing the work that our team puts in to monitor and protect these precious sea turtles,” Mais added. “We want to give the lucky bidder the opportunity to form a bond with our tagged mother turtle so that when they return to our resort in the months and years to come, they can catch a glimpse of her as she comes back to build future nests.”

Jamaica is one of the countries welcoming U.S. tourists this summer, having reopened its borders to international travel on June 15. Arriving passengers are now required to undergo a temperature check and complete a travel authorization form online, while visitors from Arizona, Florida, New York, and Texas have to upload a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 10 days before arrival, according to the Jamaica Tourist Board.

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