Sunday, October 16, 2011

THE INTERESTING LIFE OF A SEA TURTLE


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:










9 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you got to be there at just the right time. I'll bet your son will have a very interesting report to write for school.

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  2. Nicole, This is a remarkable post! So rich in its detail, and the videos and photos are marvelous.

    As you know, sea turtles are magical creatures to me, too, so I especially love your post.

    Thanks so much!

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  3. Awesome post!! I LOVE sea turtles! Here in Florida they do a lot to take care of the nests too and try to help the turtles as best they can. Great pics too!!

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  4. Laura, Janet, Nancy & V.R.

    Thanks so much for stopping by to leave comments. You all made my day.

    Nicole

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  5. Nicole,
    I agree that sea turtles are fabulous creatures. I'm so glad the authorities in Cancun are doing their best to protect them. Thanks for your wonderful pictures.

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  6. Wow, that's so neat, Nicole. I've never seen anything like it. I would love to see one of these ladies up close.

    Cheryl

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  7. Barbara, Farrah &Cheryl,

    Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate the support.
    Cheryl: If you want to see a female sea turtle plan a vacation to Cancun in late June or early July, you will by all means see more sea turtles than you can shake a stick at. They arrive in groups of seven starting around 9PM until around 1 AM

    Nicole Weaver

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