TUMBLR

Followers

Follow on Bloglovin

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Turtle Release

Today, I checked an item off my bucket list!

I adopted a turtle hatchling and released it into the sea!

My son Josh and I went on a turtle release excursion at the Rimbun Dahan Hatchery, Pahang.

Pak Su (Uncle Su in Malay) and a couple of  marine biology students run the place.

The hatchery
Eggs from the mama turtles' nests are reburied in artificial nests like these. Each 'nest' is marked with the date, number of eggs, and anticipated hatching date. Chicken wire is used to protect the eggs from poachers and predators.

The incubation period of a Green Turtle lasts 45 - 60 days.

Lending nature a helping hand
Tree roots and soil compaction (caused by rain on sand that's too fine) hamper the hatchlings from digging themselves out.
Green Turtle hatchlings
These little guys  can live up to 100 years! But sadly,  only 1 in 1,000  will survive to adulthood. 
The sex of a Green Turtle is determined after fertilization. The incubation temperature of the developing eggs defines the sex of the offsprings. This is called temperature-dependent sex determination, or TSD.

As Ben Guarino of The Washington Post reports, at roughly 85 degrees Fahrenheit, turtle nests produce equal amounts of males and females. A tad cooler and the clutch leans male. A little warmer and embryos develop as females.

You can't tell the sex of a hatchling. Until the turtle is fully grown, it's hard to sex a turtle.

I named my baby Penyu (turtle in Malay) and prayed on it before releasing it.


Although a short distance to the sea,  it is a long, perilous journey for the vulnerable hatchlings and they have to get into the water as soon as possible. This is a very important step. As they navigate towards the sea, they imprint where their natal beach is and will return back to the very same beach as their mamas did before them to lay their eggs. This is the reason why you just can't pick them up and plonk them into the water. Crawling towards the sea is part of the imprinting process.
We were told that a tagged hatchling traveled as far as Japan and returned  15 years later to the same beach to nest! What brilliant navigators!
Crabs and birds see these little fellas heading towards the sea as easy meals.
Almost there, little buddy!

Yayyy!  Penyu made it! Suddenly, an eagle swooped down and snatched one of the hatchlings that was already far out in the water. I saw the little guy's itty bitty flippers dangling from the bird's talons as it soared back into the sky. Poor baby! Nature is cruel. Such is the circle of life.

Josh's hatchling appeared to have a deformed flipper. We watched sadly as the little fella staggered slowly towards the sea, far behind the others. With a survival rate of less than 1%, sending a handicapped hatchling to the open sea is like giving it a death sentence. Mother Nature is a bitch.

Goodbye, little one!

Being a part of Penyu's journey from the moment it struggled out of the nest and ensuring that it made its way safely to the water was, unquestionably, one of the most profound and emotional experiences of my life.

It breaks my heart to learn that the battle for survival has only just begun. Many will drown in the pounding waves. Hungry fish are ready to strike. And a myriad of other threats await them in the ocean. 

The emotional send-off
With hearts full of hopes, we watched our babies disappear from the shoreline and into the sea 
When I lie awake at night, I think of Penyu. I pray that God watches over my little buddy. If it's female, I hope she will be back on this very beach where I was standing to lay her eggs.
A juvenile Green Turtle

Remember Crush from Finding Nemo?  He is a Green Turtle.





Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

41 comments:

  1. Lovely capture . And I really feel happy to know that you adopted turtle .

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a wonderful thing to do. You're a very nice person.

    Have a fabulous day. ♥

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi . Can you please comment one more time on my post sweet sleep because for some technical issues I deleted that and reuploaded that post .

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh my you are so lucky, how wonderful to participate in helping these little creatures have a small fighting chance! I have always wanted to do this too, and have it on my bucket list. Love the photos ... such beautiful little animals that grow so big. :D

    ReplyDelete
  5. I wish Penya a good, LONG life!

    How wonderful that you got to send him/her out into the sea. Sad, I know....especially as a mom...knowing that we cannot protect them.

    Remember Squirt? Our turtle from last year?? It was very hard to let her go out in the wild, but I knew that she deserved to live a life in a real pond, with real food and real sunshine on her back. Did she make it?? I don't know. But if she lived a joyous life for a week...a month...or a year....I am happy knowing that she lived like a real turtle and not cramped into a tiny tank in the house.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Such a sweet name! Wishing Penya success in his/her journey and that she/he defy the odds and makes it to 100 years old! What an adventure for you and Josh to participate in!

    betty

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for sharing Penyu's hatching and imprinting journey. Very cool. I hope Penyu makes it and you see her again in fifteen years or so.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have seen this on the television, but it must be breathtaking to witness such an amazing event in person #globalblogging@_karenennis

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh that is so sweet. Great photo's. I love turtles.

    http://www.henatayeb.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a nice thing to do that was interesting I enjoyed that and the photos :-)

    Have a turtletastic week :-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh Wow! My boys and I have studied sea turtle so much and while I do find their odds heartbreaking this must have been so wonderful to participate in! So jealous and I too will be praying for your little turtle.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is so cool and the turtles are so cute! Great job capturing these shots!
    Tina from Amanda's Books and More

    ReplyDelete
  13. This looks like such an amazing experience!! Wow! #globalblogging

    ReplyDelete
  14. What an amazing journey to have been part of. I'm so glad that Baby Penyu made it to the water. Wishing him safe travels and that he will return again. Thank you for helping him with his journey and sharing your story.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh wow! What an amazing thing to do...These little turtles need so much help. #bloggersbest

    ReplyDelete
  16. What an amazing experience! I bet it was fun cheering the turtle on, as it moved towards the water!

    Yes of course I'll give Emerson a hug for you. I'll see him next weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Love turtles....would love to do this. Went to Florida once so saw the nests. #bloggersbest

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh what an experience to participate in and sweet photos of the little sea turtles!

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Just gorgeous - great shots of the turtle looking out to sea.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Such a lovely experience to go through. I can nearly feel the emotion coming from everyone on the beach! I would love to do something like this xx

    ReplyDelete
  21. That is cool. I hope he makes it.

    ReplyDelete
  22. They are such amazing creatures

    Molly

    ReplyDelete
  23. Aww what a lovely idea to something meaningful X #bloggerclubUK

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a lovely thing to do! I hope that Penyu thrives.
    #SundayFeatures

    ReplyDelete
  25. It's so sad that only 1 out of every 1,000 sea turtles makes to adulthood. I had no clue that odds were so low. I'm definitely praying the Penyu and the rest of the hatchlings defy this statistic and that the majority of them make it.

    ReplyDelete
  26. What an amazing adventure. I had no idea the survival rate was so low with the turtles. I hope and pray that Penyu and your son's turtles survive. Thanks for sharing this wonderful experience on Sunday's Best.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Veronica, that is SO cool!! What an amazing experience.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Super cute! I love Penyu as well mba...and hope they can survive the harsh nature into adulthood

    ReplyDelete
  29. AWESOME, they are free now :-)

    ReplyDelete
  30. what a wonderful thing to do, I remember being very taken with all the Turtle nest protection in Greece #KCACOLS.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Wow, this is fascinating and what an amazing trying to do X #kcacols

    ReplyDelete
  32. oh wow what an amazing thing to do! what a sweetie. I'm so pleased he made it to the sea ok too!

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time!

    ReplyDelete
  33. So cute! Really interesting how they imprint. And what a wonderful experience! #KCACOLS

    ReplyDelete
  34. What an amazing experience! And what amazing creatures, I didn't know they came back to the same beach to nest! x #KCACOLS

    ReplyDelete
  35. They are such gorgeous creatures! #KCACOLS

    ReplyDelete
  36. This was such a great read!! You're an amazing photographer too. These turtles are adorable! I'm glad the one you picked out made it to sea safely. #KCACOLS

    ReplyDelete
  37. Lovely picture. And I feel happy to know that you adopted a turtle.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Such a heart-warming story. And I'm so glad you and Josh were part of this beautiful journey.

    I wish to do something similar some day. Amen!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Oh, my gosh they're adorable. I want one! hahahaha I don't think I've ever saw a real turtle with web like feet, and look at those little suckers go. They're fast. Thanks so much for sharing these wonderful pictures. You're duh best girlfriend! Sending BIG HUGS and please STAY HEALTHY, STAY SAFE & STAY TOGETHER WITH YOUR FAMILY. I think half the battle is not being alone. Pick & choose wisely and stay together. Sending BIG SAFE HUGS!!! Take care my friend! So happy to see you're okay!

    ReplyDelete
  40. What an interesting post, and a beautiful experience shared by you and Josh. Little Penyu looks so cute in the pictures where you are holding him(or her) up.

    ReplyDelete