Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu Honors World Turtle Day 2014

HK 767 has a Name!
 
As part of our activities to celebrate World Turtle Day, we asked you to join us in naming HK 767, a newly identified Hawksbill Sea Turtle from Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu House Reef and we received some great suggestions via email and on our Facebook page – Thank you to everyone who submitted a name for HK 767! Chiara Fumagalli, our Marine Biologist, had a blast going through all your suggestions and has now chosen a name for this juvenile turtle!

HK767 - Identification from the left side

HK767 – Identification from the left side

So what was the name she went with in the end? Let’s hear a drum-roll……………

NOAH!

This name was suggested by our Facebook follower Marine Vivier Hesters, who has a son named Noah. We were moved by her reference to Noah’s Ark, to symbolize how each and every one of us can contribute to protecting and saving the world’s endangered species. Our Marine Biologist thoroughly agreed as she cannot imagine the ocean without the beautiful presence of Hawksbill turtles.

HK767 - Swimming in Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

HK767 – Noah Swimming in Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

According to the IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Hawksbill turtles are now listed as “Critically Endangered”, and their decreasing numbers may result in them being “Extinct in the Wild”, if we do not seriously carry out some protection and conservation programs all over the world.

HK469 CHERRY sighted while snorkeling at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu House Reef

HK469 CHERRY sighted while snorkeling at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu House Reef

World Turtle Day Celebrations:
 
But we did not only baptize our newest addition to the sea turtle database – we also honored the World Turtle Day this May with various environmental activities at the resort!
 
On the evening of 21st May, some associates of Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu followed an invitation from Chiara to clean Emboodhoo, a deserted island near the resort. Emboodhoo is a magical island where our guests can choose to spend a day or even a night in a Robinson Crusoe-like hut at the beach and enjoy the ultimate private island experience. This island is also a nesting site for Green Sea Turtles as well as Hawksbill Sea Turtles.

View of Emboodhoo Island

View of Emboodhoo Island

Here, they stumbled upon a buried net, which was slightly poking out of the sand. After an hour long workout of pulling and tugging, our associates removed this HUGE net from the beach and luckily, no turtles were trapped inside.

Part of the removed net on Emboodhoo island

Part of the removed net on Emboodhoo island

Last year at Coco Collection we rescued 4 Olive Ridley sea turtles tangled in ghost drifting nets and since then we give our contribution to the Olive Ridley Project by following first aid procedures and by submitting information on nets and data on rescued sea turtles.

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle tangled in a ghost net at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle tangled in a ghost net at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

At night, Chiara treated our guests to a Marine Biology presentation at Conch Bar, focusing on the turtle projects carried out by Coco Collection, which include Sea Turtle Identification and Protection of Sea Turtle Nests. The following night, guests gathered at Conch Bar after dinner to watch “Turtle: The Incredible Journey”, following the life journey of a female Loggerhead Turtle born on a beach in Florida.

Green sea turtle nesting at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

Green sea turtle nesting at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

On 23rd May 2014, the official World Turtle Day, excited guests joined Chiara for an incredible turtle excursion! While looking for turtles, they encountered many colorful reef inhabitants such as stunning Sea Anemones sheltering Maldivian Clown Fish, beautiful Clams, and Cushion Sea Stars.

Apparently, turtles knew we were celebrating them since we had the great honor to encounter and identify a Hawksbill sea turtle new to the Maldivian Sea Turtle Database! This new addition is a juvenile individual, now registered as HK933. Our guests Alina and Victor have named this individual “CORAL BLISS” and we are overjoyed to welcome her to our turtle family!

HK 933 "CORAL BLISS"

HK 933 “CORAL BLISS”

After the snorkeling adventure, guests dropped by Emboodhoo island to enjoy nature at its best and to look around for signs of turtle nests. They actually found traces of an old Green Sea Turtle nest and Chiara provided an enjoyable on site practical representation of the nesting technique of sea turtles.

Chiara demonstrating sea turtle nesting technique

Chiara demonstrating sea turtle nesting technique

The day ended with some of our guests joining the associates to collect any out of place items in the beautiful lagoon of Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu. Even though it was a tiring day, at the end, everyone had a great time knowing that they had contributed their share to a cause worth protecting.

At dinner that night, guests were astounded at the creative buffet display: the Chefs had gotten into the spirit and had a blast with food carvings of turtles! These creative carvings put a smile on everyone’s face and landed in many a holiday photo albums.

Check out our pages on Pinterest, Facebook, Google+ or Flickr for more pictures celebrating World Turtle Day 2014! We hope that all our turtles are happy and healthy and wish to see our guests celebrate this day in 2015 again!

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