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Curieuse Island is a small granite island in the Seychelles, close to the north coast of the island of Praslin. Curieuse was once known as Ile Rouge due to its natural abundance of bare red earth. The rare Coco de Mer palms, are unique to only Praslin and Curieuse islands.
This rugged island was once home to a leper colony, situated at Anse St. Joseph. The resident doctor's house, dating back to the 1870's has been recently converted into a museum and visitors centre. The leper colony was fully operational until its closure in 1965. During the eighteenth century sailors set fire to the island, in order to make harvesting of the Coco de Mer nuts much easier. The fire destroyed many of the islands forests as well as its native trees, and indications of the fires remain visible. Today Curieuse is home to an exciting giant land tortoise rearing project. The island is also an important nesting site for hawksbill turtles.
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