ARCHELON has been running a special hospital for sea turtles with tanks and impressive old train wagons for 30 years in Glyfada

It was 1994 when ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece, managed to set up this model Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Glyfada. The need for its creation arose as a natural result of ARCHELON’s work, as many of our fellow citizens every year were asking for instructions and help for the injured turtles they encountered on the coasts or at sea.

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Its opening was made possible with the decisive assistance of the then Mayor of Glyfada, the late Theodoros Spondylidis, who granted the necessary space at the 3rd Marina, as the proximity to seawater was key for the treatment of marine animals. However, the rescue volunteers of ARCHELON needed a place protected from the weather to work and spend the night near the injured animals. A creative solution had to be found. This was none other than the old train wagons that were donated by OSE and gave a special character to the premises!

"Back then there were only two wagons at the Rescue Centre and a turtle with a hook in its mouth in a plastic children's pool about 50 cm in diameter," recalls Tom Scott, the first foreign volunteer of the Rescue Centre. "We bathed with the hose, while we had to carry water from the sea for the turtles with buckets. A large part of the work we did was building and painting the facility to make it the place it is today. The first wagon was used for the environmental education programme and the other as an office, a laboratory and a dorm. Soon we had outdoor tanks and clean water from a pump and we were all very excited about these changes”, he adds. July, August  (2).png Over the years the Rescue Centre continued to change and pioneer. This model unit, which is now among the most important in the world, very recently, thanks to the relevant legislation that was established, was licensed and operates as one of the first Wildlife Care Centers in our country. Today, the animals under care are no longer accommodated in improvised swimming pools, but in 42 special rehabilitation and preparation tanks with state-of-the-art pumps that filter, renew and heat the seawater. Thus, more than 1300 animals have been accommodated and received treatment in our facilities!

The Centre's facilities include 7 train wagons used for offices, food preparation facilities, volunteer dormitories, a gift shop, and a warehouse. The latest renovation at the Rescue Centre was done in collaboration with CMA CGM, a global player in sea, land, air, and logistics solutions. We are grateful for this partnership, and with their support, the complete renovation of one of the old wagons was made possible. The new space now hosts three offices and a space for presentations, meetings and training!

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The multi-level educational and entertaining experience of touring the Rescue Centre has made it a point of interest for schools and visitors from all over the world who want to see the treated animals up close and be informed about the problems they face. Great value is also given to the Rescue Centre through the experience of volunteers from Greece and many other countries, who help inform the visitors and care for the turtles. 11.png

Learn how you can visit the Rescue Centre with your school, family or friends, and how you too can become an ARCHELON volunteer.



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