Experienced diver Kees Slot had already completed about four hundred dives, but during an expedition to a sunken ship in Pattaya, Thailand he came across a – it turned out – very special turtle. So special that the animal even got its name.
Kees likes to film the underwater world during his expeditions and 2016 was no different. He came across a turtle that he could film extensively. As always, he posted the images on his YouTube channel. Years later, he suddenly received an email from Aow Thai Marine Ecology Center (ATMEC) in Bangkok, he says The Telegraph. “They are in the process of mapping all the turtles that swim in the Gulf of Thailand. They didn’t know the turtle I photographed yet. I was asked if I had more photos. Well, I did. ”
‘Pat his ball’
The Ecology Center was so happy with the crystal-clear images of the unknown turtle that Kees was allowed to name it himself. That became Turtle Diverkees. Kees is honored, he tells the newspaper. “I know maybe hundreds of divers, and I’ve never heard of anyone naming an animal.”
As soon as the weather can, Kees returns to Pattaya, hoping that he will be reunited with ‘his’ Turtle Diverkees. “If I see him again, I might just pet his head.”
Picture: Kees Slot