Monday, October 24, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
After laying her eggs, the female turtle rests for around thirty to forty-five minutes, and then she is ready to head back into the ocean. I watched the entire process from start to finish. Unfortunately, I could not take a picture of the turtle when she first came in from the ocean. The people from the agency forbade anyone to take pictures while the turtle is trying to come to shore. The personnel from the agency said that the camera light would frighten the turtle, and she will return to the ocean. The frightened turtle will then lay her eggs in the ocean instead of on land. Lights are timed to go off around eight-thirty each night during the sea turtle season. The resort helps with sea turtle preservation this one way.
My third night at the resort seven sea turtles immediately returned to the ocean after a group of people started taking pictures of the turtles as they made their way to shore. This saddened me greatly because sea creatures will eat the eggs. Besides, turtle eggs must be buried in sand for a period of two months before they hatch into baby turtles. Below are some more pictures my husband took. I have a few more I will share in another post. Happy Reading!
The sea turtle heading back to the ocean after resting 30-45 minutes
Here I am standing in total awe of having witnessed the sea turtle lay 109 eggs.
|She is about to take off!|
I am touching the sea turtle. I was given permission by agency personnel to touch the turtle. Totally awesome and thrilling!
|A little boy from the resort touching the turtle!|
|Half way to the ocean!|
|I am heading back home, yea!|
Incredible sight! The turtle is about to head back and disappear into the blue wonder of the ocean!
|She is gone until next time.|
Sunday, October 16, 2011
When my sixteen-year-old son begged to return to Cancun for a family vacation, I was not too thrilled. Cancun was the last place I wanted to go. We had already been to the same resort twice before. Finally, my son mentioned practicing his Spanish and doing an extra credit report for his level three Spanish class for the 2011-201 school year. Well, that idea sold me and my husband immediately booked our vacation to Cancun.
Off to Cancun we went. The first night at the resort turned out to be the most exciting night of my life. Much to my surprise, I learned that it was the sea turtle season in Cancun. That night seven female sea turtles came to shore to lay their eggs.
I dashed out to the beach and witnessed the most amazing display of a female sea turtle trudging her heavy body to shore. I love sea turtles. I think they are the most incredible creatures ever. As a child I came across a stranded sea turtle near my home in Haiti, but this was the first time I actually saw the turtle come to shore and lay her eggs.
Seeing the stranded sea turtle as a child left me speechless. I wanted so badly to help return the turtle back to the ocean, but my father had other plans. He had the maid make soup out of the turtle. That horrible experience stayed ingrained in my subconscious. This led me to write my first picture book about a stranded sea turtle. http://marieandherfriendtheseaturtle.blogspot.com
You can now imagine my excitement when I learned it was the sea turtle season in Cancun. The next night I stayed up until two A.M watching and taking pictures of the sea turtles.
I am happy to report that the Mexican government understands that sea turtles are endangered, so they have a special agency assigned to protect the eggs. Once the mother turtle lays her eggs, the eggs are removed and buried in a protected area. I had a chance to speak with the individuals responsible for removing the eggs. They informed me all female sea turtles go into a trance while laying their eggs and that is how the individuals hired by the agency are able to remove the eggs.
The resort has hired extra security personnel that monitor the beach at night. Turtle eggs are a delicacy to some people. Sometimes they steal the eggs and sell them for money.
Before returning home, I also spoke to Vinny, the head security personnel. He shared the following pictures with me:
The eggs will start hatching starting in September. The sad news is most of the hatchlings will not survive. Only three out of each batch will turn into adult sea turtles. The male turtles will never come back to shore, but the female turtles will return to the beach they were hatched at.
Below are the pictures I took: