Our 9 foot and growing American saltwater crocodile resides here! In late 2006 Grand Cayman received an unexpected visitor, Smiley, the first crocodile seen in the Cayman Islands since the late-1950’s! She and her crocodile ancestors were originally called “Caimanas” by the early Spanish explorers, from which the Cayman Islands derived its name. Smiley is trained to jump and follow a target for food and a reward. Ask about feeding show times.
Not all of our animal friends live in the water. Stroll around the Caribbean Aviary to meet local and exotic Caribbean birds; including the Cayman Parrot, our national bird, and the colourful Scarlet Ibis. Some birds are busy making nests or foraging for food but ask about close-up encounters with the more curious of the bunch!
At the start of the Rainy Season as well as once or twice during the 6-month period, large numbers of Great Southern White butterflies swarm in mating rituals to lay hundreds of eggs, almost resembling snow flurries. The butterflies lay their eggs on a variety of native feed plants that bloom and grow profusely with the rains, including Wild Rosemary and cultivated cabbage plants- which may be how they gained their other name “Cabbage White Butterfly”. You will see them everywhere if you are visiting at the right time of year, but for an up close encounter with these and other local butterfly species head to the Blue Hole Nature Trial where Butterfly Central is located.
Welcome to the Cayman Turtle Centre
Swim with turtles in a lagoon full of colorful marine life. Come nose to nose with sharks & other predators of the sea. Explore a free flight zone filled with local and exotic birds.
Cayman's largest land-based attraction, Cayman Turtle Centre : Island Wildlife Encounter hosts more than 200,000 visitors each year. Educational, cultural and entertainment programmes are consistently being created and updated to enhance the experience that can only be found at our world renowned attraction.
The Cayman Turtle Centre, the first commercial venture to domesticate Green Sea Turtles begins. It is founded as Mariculture Ltd by Irvin Naylor, Henry Hamlin, Dr. Samuel Ayres III & Anthony G.A. Fisher with the blessing of and an exclusive franchise from the Cayman islands Government.
In May of 2010 the name of the facility was changed, dropping entirely the “Boatswain’s Beach” reference, returning to an earlier, easier and simpler title: Cayman Turtle Centre.
Because it was important for visitors to know about the park’s other attractions, beyond its sea turtles, a subtitle as added as well and the new name was determined: “Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter”.
A new logo was developed for the new name This new logo offers four pictures: That of a turtle is a reference not just historical residents and star performers at the centre, as well as the Island’s cultural past, but the symbol of the turtle is also a reminder of the Centre's ongoing and world renowned research and conservation activities in addition to the traditional turtle-breeding and release programmes.
The second image is that of a Cayman parrot, the National Bird, drawing attention to both our aviary and also to encounters with some of our other indigenous wildlife.
The picture of a shark directs visitors to the marine life, interactive swimming, feeding and predator tanks, as well as the excitement of seeing underwater wildlife.
And, finally, the fourth image in the logo depicts a small bloom of silver thatch – another National Symbol - referring to the nature trails and promotion of Caymanian traditions and culture.
The new name not only describes the interactive nature of the facility, through the use of the word ‘encounter’ but also reminds residents and visitors of the park’s older, familiar and popular name, which has in effect really always remained in use anyway.
Today the Centre continues to grow adding new features to enhance the entertainment facet of the Centre but also work continues to keep the Centre's research and conservation activities up to par with the global standards.