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More baby turtles on Living Colours beach

 

turtle rescue

 

This time all the action happened in the early afternoon. I was just completing some paperwork with Johannes and Ira, who wanted to sign up for diving, when Rupert started shouting that there are baby turtles everywhere on the beach. We all rushed to see the hawksbill hatchlings. Again the tide timing was not ideal for the small vulnerable baby turtles to get out to the sea.

The mother hawksbill turtle we saw a bit less than two months ago (blog post on March 17th 2016) had decided that laying her eggs behind the dive center was a good spot anyway. She almost got into trouble herself heading back to the sea when the tide had already gone out. Well, the crabs living in the mangroves would not have been a threat to the mum. But her offspring would not get the easiest start of their life. 

 

living colours bunaken sea turtles

 

The nest had been high up on the dry part of the beach past some bushes and piles of leaves collected from the coconut trees. Some of the hatchlings had made it to the beach around the pile, but most of them were heading directly into this pile of leaves, from where they were struggling to find their way out to the beach.

 

bunaken diving

 

We started to collect all the hatchlings into baskets because the tide was still very low and the babies would have troubles getting trough the dense mangrove air roots on low tide. Unlucky day for the crabs living in the mangroves, since baby turtles would have been a delicacy treat for them.

 

mangroves bunaken
Ira, Johannes, Annika and Steven releasing the hatchlings

 

Within 10 minutes we had collected nearly 100 hatchlings into the baskets and rushed them along the beach trough the mangroves and waded into shoulder deep water to reach the deep wall drop off where we released them. What a unique moment to see all these tiny small turtles heading for the open ocean and wishing them safe start of life.

Thank you Ira, Johannes, Rupert, Steven and all our staff who helped us to get these small hatchlings quickly and safely out to the sea!!!

Text: Annika Hartell
Photo credits: Rupert Hölzl