Green Turtle Nest Hatching at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

The baby turtles are here and here is what our Marine Biologist Intern Jade had to say.

 green turtle hatchling breaking out of the egg with its right front flipper in front of our eyes

A green turtle hatchling breaking out of the egg with its right front flipper in front of our eyes

On the night of the 22nd of February the clock stroke 12 when I was awoken by the loud ring of my phone. Still half asleep, I managed to answer the call.

On the other line, I could hear the voice of Chiara excitedly screaming:

“ JADE THE FIRST TURTLE HAS HATCHED, THE FIRST TURTLE HAS HAT…!”

Before she could even finish her sentence, I was out of bed and hurriedly running to the beach.

On the way to the beach, I felt relieved! I had been worried that the eggs would not develop as they had been relocated from our pic-nic island Emboodhoo on the 30th of December 2014 to avoid poaching.

When I arrived at the nest, I was met by our security guard Chandra who proudly presented me to the first green sea turtle hatchling that he had found whilst doing his nightly patrol.

Jade welcoming the first green turtle hatchlings at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu beach

Jade welcoming the first green turtle hatchlings at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu beach

At the news of our new turtle arrival my friend Karen, a guest relations’ intern at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, quickly followed suit and arrived at the beach.

I was lucky to have two pairs of helping hands, because a few minutes later green sea turtle hatchlings came crawling out of the nest by the dozens and in every direction!

Chandra and Karen helping Jade at collecting the hatchlings: such a peculiar way to spend the night!

Chandra and Karen helping Jade at collecting the hatchlings: such a peculiar way to spend the night!

In total, the nest had 99 eggs, 83 of which successfully developed into very cute baby green sea turtles.

Once all the turtles broke out of their eggs, they were placed on a wet towel in a box for safekeeping until they could be released in the open ocean.

The following morning after very little sleep (who can sleep with 83 turtles in a box near their bed?), I welcomed Chiara at the Jetty who jumped into the first sea plane she could catch.

Throughout the day, the arrival of our green sea turtle hatchlings spread like wildfire throughout the resort.

At 06:00 pm, under the cool shade of the sun, guests were invited to the beach to watch and cheer on the hatchlings as they crawled down the sand and into the ocean.

As the hatchlings make their way down the sand they imprint this pivotal moment: this is how they will remember the way to come back to Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu to lay their own eggs in thirty year time at least!

Guests of all ages, happily volunteered to stand in the sea, a few metres away from the shoreline to pick up the turtles once they reached the water.

To increase the odds of survival of an endangered species the green turtles are not released on the reef but in the open ocean.There are simply too many predators on land and on the reef! Birds, crabs, groupers, wrasses, trevallies, snappers, sharks: most hatchlings would not make it out unto the edge of the reef alive!

For this reason on the morning of the 24th Chiara and me along with 17 guests hoped onboard our dhoni to go and release our little turtles in the open ocean.

Lending a hand to release baby turtles in the wild is not only an important contribution to the environment but also a very enriching and unforgettable experience for our guests.

In the midst of all the threats that newborn turtles face, being held in the hands of a child for one minute will not lead to their demise!

An unforgettable experience

An unforgettable experience

Instead, it will leave a child with a gift, a moment he will never forget and give rise to the next generation of sea turtle ambassadors.

Watching the turtles swim away and disappear into the great blue ocean I felt a knot in my stomach thinking about all the countless obstacles that they will have to face in the wild but, at the same time, I felt hope.

Hope that they will live long and prosperous lives and see the day when they return to lay their own eggs in thirty plus years at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu.…

Jade letting go of the sea turtle

Jade letting go of the sea turtle

 

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