Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sea Turtle visits our beach

Late one evening in June, a couple of weeks before we headed back to the U.S., we were sitting on our deck watching the surf and spotted something crawling out of the ocean. We guessed it was a turtle and ran down to the beach accompanied by our building’s security guard to check it out.

A turtle had crawled up the beach to lay her eggs. Surprisingly, she headed straight for our fence and, with her back to the security lights, started digging her hole. It was amazing to watch her awkwardly dig with her flippers. She worked at it for about 20 minutes then suddenly turned and filled in the hole. We assumed it was because of the bright light.

She wandered off and got stuck in a drainage ditch, our security guard and his friend lifted her out and she made her way back to the water.

It was so sad, the turtles come back to the beach where they originally hatched up to 30 years before to make their nests. With all the development and the security lights dotted along beaches it is disorienting them and likely limiting their nesting locations. It would be great if, during their nesting season, the buildings could turn off the lights.

The Mexicans are very protective of the turtles. The Marines are in charge of collecting the eggs when a nest is found and taking them to a secure location to hatch.

Following are some photos we took.

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