Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Releasing Baby Sea Turtles

Last night, we went to the beach at Nuevo Vallarta and took one-day old Olive Ridley sea turtles and helped them go back to their home in the Pacific Ocean. "Survive" we told them, knowing that the odds are against them: only one in a thousand avoid getting eaten by pelicans, crabs, sharks or other predators.

First we took them out of the big pen where they spent their first day of life.

Then at sunset, we held the baby turtles and stood by the edge of the sea and urged them on as they waddled and crawled towards the big, scary ocean. We were instructed to not go past the line in the sand. That way the turtles could absorb the sand and surrounding smells so they knew where to return ten years later when they lay their hundred or more eggs deep in the sand. We also wiped our hands in the wet sand to remove all sunblock and other lotions as that is a hazard to the baby turtles. It was an incredible lesson about survival of the fittest.

Maya and Jet helped many of the little turtles back into the water. Here they are saying good-bye and good luck to the turtles as they make their way out to the big big ocean.

Photos by Ewout Mante, Captain, SV Bravado


Behan said...

Beautiful! Well worth the extra day(s) here, I trust. sure loved getting to spend time w/ y'all in La Cruz! ~Behan & crew

Ruth said...

We loved it! Thanks for telling us about it. Hope the Ham test goes well.

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