Turtle Wrangling


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The last thing I expected was to be put to work on a turtle farm, but that’s exactly what happened.

One of the only attractions in Colola beach is the turtle camp, with the grand title of  “Colola World Capital Of The Black Turtle”.  The project, which is composed of townspeople and outside volunteers, is dedicated to the protection of the black turtle.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m no wildlife expert but did I ever get a schooling on my visit  to the turtle camp that night.

Every night the turtles come ashore to make nests to lay eggs.  The volunteers then comb the beach and dig up the eggs and relocate them to a hatchery in a fenced-in area further down the beach.

I thought I was going to be given a tour but they were shorthanded that evening so I was put to work, collecting and counting newly hatched turtles before releasing them in to the sea. If adult turtles are slow let me tell you these baby turtles are no slouches at all. You had to move fast to pick them up and sometimes chase down the escapees who had scurried away. I had to be very careful where I walked as it was very easy to tread on a stray hatchling.

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Newly Emerged Hatchlings

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Hard at Work Collecting Critters

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A Batch Of 300 Ready For Release

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I Had To Turn Off The Flash As They Walked Towards Its Light Rather Than Into The Sea

I collected and released about 600 hatchlings over the course of a few hours.  Once in the sea the hatchlings would make their way up the coast to Baja California. Its estimated that only one in a hundred would survive the trip. Once matured, they return to same beach the following year to lay eggs.

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More Help Arrives

At about 11 PM some more helpers showed up so I was relieved of my turtle farming duties and went down the beach to see adult turtles emerging from their nests and going back in to the sea.

The turtle below slithered in to the dark night and then so did I (well, I didn’t slither. It was more like I stumbled across the dunes).

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Adult Tutles Can Live Up To 80 Years

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8 Responses to Turtle Wrangling

  1. Vincent Carmody says:

    Great stuff Conor, I envy the suntan. When I didn’t see anything for a few days,thought you might have gone and joined a band of enclosed Monks.

  2. cindy says:

    What an amazing experience!! Who would have thought you’d end up doing this on a hemispheric motorcycle trip. And it provides you with a reason to return. Ride safe.

  3. Bernal says:

    Hey Connor, we anxiously wait for your postings. Rosa and I seat together by the computer to read your adventures, glad to know you beat the bandidos. Enjoy Acapulco, we were there in 1983 the last time….

  4. Lynn says:

    That’s awesome! Make sure they aren’t making Turle soup with them!

  5. Judith Caball says:

    Daniel & Grace loving the Turtle farming blog and it’s educational too!!!

  6. JOC says:

    Great report on the turtles Conor. My Daughter is loving it and is showing her teacher tomorrow. Really enjoying you reports. Keep it up.

  7. Una says:

    Isaac will be sharing this with his scout den today!
    Dan very envious, wants to go travelling too…

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