Everyone loves Chris… and Cousin Island turtles

A video posted on Nature Seychelles' Facebook page, in which a Hawksbill turtle was rescued, has captivated a large audience both locally and around the globe. As of the time of writing, the video has received over 16 million views, close to 1 million reactions, 12 thousand comments, and 27 thousand shares! 

The majority of comments on the video were positive, a reflection, it seems, of how much people care about sea turtles.

Screenshot of Chris with the turtle he rescued

Screenshot of Chris with the turtle he rescued

The video shows the island's conservation manager, Chris Tagg, rescuing a turtle from drowning on Cousin Island Special Reserve.

The female turtle, which was presumably coming to nest, was lying on its back in a rock pool after flipping over. He turned her over and checked her for injuries, before lifting her from the rock pool and into the ocean to freedom.

"Cousin Island is a critical nesting ground for hawksbill turtles and we get many turtles coming to shore to nest each season. It is not uncommon for turtles to struggle across rock pools during low tide, sometimes ending up on their backs. They may drown, get sunburnt, or succumb to the heat in such situations. As part of our turtle patrols on the island, we look out for turtles in trouble," Chris said.

Cousin Island is a critical nesting ground for hawksbill turtles

Cousin Island is a critical nesting ground for hawksbill turtles

"As we document and record much of the work we carry out on the special reserve for monitoring, educational, and outreach purposes, Emma, a volunteer helping out during the season, filmed the rescue. In keeping with our practice, we shared this moment on social media with our followers. Little did we know this seemingly small piece of what we thought was routine work would resonate with so many people. We have been delighted by its reach and feedback," he continues.
Hawksbill turtles can be found in the tropical and sub-tropical waters of all of the world’s oceans. Like other sea turtles, they have travelled our seas for millennia and are iconic symbols of the ocean.

They are loved and revered by several cultures and can be found in diverse local folklore.

They are known for their beautiful shell, which unfortunately was once heavily exploited and commonly sold as "tortoiseshell," and their unique beak-like mouth.

They are a tourist attraction

Tourists watch as a Hawskbill turtles comes to nest on Cousin Island (Max Aliaga)

They are a tourist attraction, whether they are seen in the water while diving or snorkelling, onshore nesting, or as hatchlings making their way to the sea.

They play a key role in maintaining healthy marine ecosystems, particularly coral reefs.

However, they are threatened by many human activities, including poaching and illegal trade, habitat destruction, pollution, by-catch in fishing nets, climate change, and ocean acidification. They are still listed as "Critically Endangered" on the IUCN Red List.

They are listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List

Collecting turtle data on Cousin Island

Seychelles hosts one of the largest nesting populations of Hawksbill turtles in the world. People can help protect them by ending poaching, supporting organizations that work to protect them, reducing plastic consumption, and by keeping their habitats safe and clean.

Posts like this can have a huge impact and bring awareness to the species, and the challenges they face. If the 16 million who viewed this video so far walk away with more understanding and reflection, that's 16 million more voices who can speak and act for the species," Chris concludes.

Our History

Since 1998.

Seychelles Nature, Green HealthClimate Change, Biodiversity Conservation & Sustainability Organisation

@CousinIsland Manager

Facebook: http://goo.gl/Q9lXM

Roche Caiman, Mahe


We accept donations. Your support and generosity help us continue with our work in nature conservation in Seychelles. Email nature@seychelles.netdonate

Contact Us

Centre for Environment & Education

Roche Caiman,

P.O. Box 1310, Mahe, Seychelles

Tel:+ 248 2519090

Email: nature@seychelles.net