Ruben Antonio Aleman Lucero
Dr. Ruben carrying a tarp with a sea turtle for conservation
2021

Ruben Antonio Aleman Lucero

Veterinarian

Healing fins and flippers

meet ruben

A zootecnical veterinarian from Tulcan, Ecuador, Dr. Aleman Lucero initially worked in the Galapagos. He has directed a massive sterilization program for more than 10,000 dogs and cats, has protected mangroves, and has improved human lives by introducing sustainable crab production techniques. Regaining mobility subsequent to an immobilizing knee disease, he became a ranger at Machalilla National Park and created the Center for the Rehabilitation of Marine Fauna, Education, and Whale Rescue.

Healing fins and flippers
Nominated by: Buffy Redsecker MR'10
Class of 2021 Location Ecuador
Ruben performing surgery on a sea turtle
Ruben performing surgery on a sea turtle

In my town of Puerto Lopez, thanks to the creation of the Rehabilitation Center, people have become interested in the conservation of sea turtles in Ecuador. They care about the animals individually and talk about that issue as a community. Educating the people in a way that makes them care about their wild neighbors is very important.

Now that science has identified the causes of wildlife mortality and stranding, I hope that governments around the world will work to create regulations that can help. Banning certain kinds of fishing gear and creating more marine protected areas is a good start. Reducing ocean noise and developing effective enforcement strategies to make marine protected areas more secure are a more advanced plan.

“My potential legacy is the creation of the Rehabilitation Center that I built brick by brick. It is my footprint in the community that I love for the conservation of a species that I love—the sea turtles of Manabi, Ecuador.”

- Ruben Antonio Aleman Lucero
A cartoon of Ruben in a veterinary practice
A cartoon of Ruben in a veterinary practice

People should stop choosing single-use plastics. Sea turtles think plastic bags are jellyfish, and they choke on the bags. A marine animal that is terrified of deep water is a very terrible thing. The only thing that heals their trauma is time. Our turtles spend many months in shallow pools so that their flippers can touch the bottom. We test them in deeper water for a short amount of time, but often they panic for months.

My potential legacy is the creation of the Rehabilitation Center that I built brick by brick. It is my footprint in the community that I love for the conservation of a species that I love—the sea turtles of Manabi, Ecuador. My hope for the future is that all people become kinder and more responsible for their pets and for the wild animals of our planet. I am proud to be someone who lives my life in kindness and hope that others will do the same in their hometowns

Ruben examining an x-ray
Ruben examining an x-ray
never stop exploring

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CLASS OF 2021

Get the EC50 print publication