Monday, 26 May 2014

Turtle Week: Day Three

It was a fun filled day on the island on the third day of Turtle Week. It began as a relaxing day. Staff and interns went out on a reef clean in the morning, then indulged in some arts and crafts in the afternoon - decorating the resort for the evenings festivities. We also had people making turtle phone charms and key rings out of old plastic and ring pulls from cans. A very creative way of recycling! These little charms can be bought for just 10RM. 

Tiny Green Turtles!
In the evening, just as everyone was settling down for dinner, a turtle nest started to hatch! There was a flurry of activity as staff informed everyone what was happening. Guests abandoned their food and rushed down to the hatchery, wanting to see as much of the action as possible. Those who had already adopted a turtle were allowed into the hatchery, getting a closer look at the hatchlings as they were carefully placed into a bucket before being taken to the shoreline. As the tiny turtles were released, guests were asked not to use flash on their cameras, and to make sure they were standing well out of the way as the hatchlings sprinted to the water. Those who had not already adopted a turtle were keen to get involved, and many decided to adopt them right away. The final few turtles were released and everyone headed back to the resort to have some food. Those who had decided to adopt turtles collected their T-Shirts and gave their information to have their certificate sent to them. Just as everyone had started to
Collecting the hatchlings so they can be taken to the shoreline
calm down over the excitement of seeing these incredible creatures scurry to the sea, a second nest showed signs of hatching! Suddenly the surface of the sand was breaking, tiny turtles poking their heads out of the sand, and trying to begin their journey to open waters. Once again, everyone headed down to the beach to see them be released. It was a truly magical experience for everyone who was involved. Those who had adopted turtles were able to release them, which is something not many people can say they've done! All in all, over 100 turtles were released from the hatchery to make their way into the ocean; a truly special and incredibly timely celebration of Turtle Week!
Carefully moving them out of the hatchery

Turtle hats and bandannas!
The evenings festivities didn't end there. It was time to head to the bar for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles themed party! Outlines of turtles had been cut out, colouring pencils and strips of card provided so that everyone could make their own turtle hats. If that didn't take your fancy then we had strips of fabic so you could make yourself a bandana, just like the ninja turtles! And what was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles favourite food? Pizza! So we had pizza on sale in the bar, with all the money going straight toward Turtle conservation. As an added bit of entertainment, we also held an open mic night. Customers and staff all got involved, singing and playing guitar. It was an excellent night, a great treat for everyone, staff, interns and customers, who have been working so hard these past few days. 

Open Mic Night

Everyone getting involved

Dancing the night away!

We're now over half way towards our target of 7000RM!! Thank you so much for all the contributions!! If anyone who cannot be here would like to donate, just visit our page at Just Giving:
We are doing a sponsored 5 hour Reef Clean, every little helps!

Facts about Olive Ridley Turtles
  • They are the smallest of the marine turtles 
  • Although they do also nest alone, olive ridleys are known for their remarkable mass nestings, when many thousands of females congregate on the same beach; the event is known as an 'arribada', which is Spanish for 'mass arrival' 
  • These astonishing mass nestings can involve up to 150,000 females and there may be more than one arribada on a single beach; this overcrowding means that turtles are often crawling over each other to move up the beach
  • Predators such as jackals and crabs will feed on turtle eggs, whilst birds attack hatchlings on the beach and fish wait in the shallows. These arribadas probably function to increase hatchling survival by overwhelming predators with sheer numbers
  • They are listed as 'vulnerable' on the IUCN list 

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