Before the start of the current nesting season, we sent our conservation dog Kelo on a special mission. He and his team colleagues from the dog and drone team attended lessons at a total of eight primary schools on Boa Vista. The goal: tell the eight- to ten-year-olds about their work in sea turtle conservation. This unique project gave the team of Fundação Tartaruga the opportunity to educate the children about their work and provide them with fun tips on how they and their families can support Kelo in his work as a conservation dog.

Playfully learning about the work of sea turtle conservationists

As part of a presentation to the school class, the seven members of the dog and drone team introduced their work and revealed their motivation for working in species conservation. A short quiz was then organised, giving the curious children the chance to test their freshly acquired knowledge. The questions focussed on learning about their own opportunities to contribute to the protection of sea turtles.

After this interactive part of the lesson, small groups were in turns engaged in playing a specially designed board game and colouring turtle pictures. However, the real highlight of the activity followed: the search for a poacher was demonstrated in a vivid live simulation. Children who volunteered hid a personal object bearing their scent. Then, Kelo had to track them down and match them accordingly. As was to be expected – successfully.

Kelo auf der Suche nach einem Gegenstand eines Schülers während einer Live-Demonstration

Environmental education project with Kelo will continue during off-season

In total, we reached around 400 children and teachers at all primary schools in Boa Vista with this project. The response to the school visits with Kelo was consistently positive: We received several requests to extend the dates to other school classes and age groups. We will certainly be visiting schools again with Kelo at the end of the current nesting season. Our own conclusion is also very positive: The campaigns gave us the opportunity to communicate our core demands for a reduction of the poaching of sea turtles and the consumption of their meat in a fun way.

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