The Cirebon Turtle Park, Wisata Kura-Kura Belawa, located in Cirebon, West-Java, and is a nice and clean voluntarily driven small park worthwhile a visit.
The park lost public economic support in because the park had few turtles, but the park still lives because of the engagement from its volunteers.
“Kura-kura” is the Indonesian word for turtle.
Entrance fee at : IDR 3000, which is a low price compared to other tourist attractions.
Exibited in the park they look like made from rocks, but are some 120 years old turtle skeletons. The largest turtles weighted around 60 kilos when they died.
The turtle species
This is an unique turtle species which only lives here in Cirebon. After doing some research I have found they are a kind of “pig nosed soft shell turtle”.
The turtles are fed with chicken, and when finished eating the turtles, they will go on shore, in a kind of garden, and dig into the ground and cover them selves with soil. They will sleep under the ground for about three days. Then they are hungry, and comes out to eat more chicken.
When not sleeping under ground they swim in a channel of water. The water was not clear and one could only assume where the turtles was by some air bubbles on the surface.
Our park guide waded in the river and picked up turtles in different sizes so the visitors could see them. We were also guided into the garden where the turtles slept. By carefully uncovering the soil, we were able to see the sleeping turtles.
We were (I was) advised to not touch the turtles since they can bite hard enough to break fingers, and their long neck moves fast.