Aquaworld to the Rescue!

Posted on April 27, 2011

John and Judith the Founders of Aquaworld

Well I can’t deny that I am so glad to be back home in the comfort of my own four walls, and my own well known streets. While I was in Crete, I travelled from Stalis to the nearby town of Hersonissos and came across a homely looking aquarium called Aquaworld. In all honesty, I did not know it existed when I went to Crete, but when I saw it, I was amazed.

What started out as a hobby, turned into a thriving business in 1995. Scottish born John and Judith McLaren turned a small home based love for sea life into an aquarium open to the Cretian public to teach them about their local sea life. Both were teachers but quit the job when their aquarium hit off and turned into a rescue center.

What was initially supposed to be an aquarium, turned into a rescue center as locals began bringing their sealife pets and reptiles to the center to be rehabilitated. John even has had a handle on some crocs in his time since opening the rescue center.

Stephania is almost completely blind and unable to go back out into the wild

Since the center opened, John and Judith have helped over 400 sealife and reptiles, including 15 seaturtles. Currently, John and Judith are looking after almost completely blind Stephania. (She is by far the most amazing little creature I have ever see) Unfortunately Stephania is the only of their history in rescue that cant be returned to the sea.  With turtles, John and Judith try to release them as close as possible to where they have been found or caught so as not to confuse them.

While I was there, John let me know about some of the other animals they have looked after, including snap the crocodile. Snap was an unwanted croc who needed rehabilitating. Unfortunately for John, it meant he had to be careful as Snap seemed to be a ladies man, preferring to be near Judith while biting at John everytime he went near.

At the Aquaworld, most animals are  left there unwanted. People buy unusual pets before realising them that they dont want them. Some animals come to the center unnamed. One snake was brought in, the owner having had him for a few years before growing bored. Where the McLaren’s try to keep all the original names for their animals, this guy never even bothered to name the reptile.

There are two pythons currently at the rescue center

The Aquaworld is not a charity, but it isn’t completely a business. The Center works from the admissions of the visitors and the donations. John has hopes to expand the aquarium, to allow more rescued animals in. He hopes to one day win the lottery so he can buy more land and expand.

One day John, Aquaworld will expand, and it will be better than it already is.

To keep up to date with the Aquarium, see their website (Click here) or visit their facebook fanpage (Click here)