BABIES!! What human being cannot get excited about baby animals? They are so darn cute! Apparently, only my daughters and I were the most excited for this but we made the boys go anyway. I was lucky enough to witness the hatching of sea turtles on our resort’s beach on the first day in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The teens had gone to get the others to come to the beach and missed all the action. Good thing we were already had reservations for Turtle Camp a few days later. We booked our time online with www.wildlifeconnection.com
The volunteer who met with us was very knowledgeable and told us much about sea turtles. Through Wildlife Connection, you are guaranteed to be able to release baby sea turtles. If not, you do get your money back. First you patrol the beach in search of mama’s laying eggs. We came at the end of laying season but luckily, we spotted some extra bird activity and found a female turtle digging her nest. Since the turtles us the “white light” of the surf to guide them to the ocean, we had to view the laying of the eggs with a red light so as not to confuse the mom. We got to watch the complete process. It was so amazing! Watching Mama head back to the water slowly kinda gave me chills as I was so happy she was able to safely leave her eggs in hopes of continuing her species. There is so much risk to these eggs as all kinds of scavengers dig them up and eat them – birds, lizards, etc. These eggs will later be dug up by the camp workers to be protected until hatching time.
Excitement was building in all of us as we headed back to the camp to release the turtles that had recently hatched safely. They were so CUTE! The volunteer had each of us select one turtle and we were going to have a race to the water. Having named our turtles and lined them up, we moved in front of them and shone our flashlights towards them to show them which way to go. Flash, Joey, Sam, Dolly, Sandy, and, the most original, Turtle were off to a good start. Then a few would get confused and turn around. We would have to use our flashlights to guide them back in the right direction. That wasn’t our biggest challenge. Once we got near the water, each wave had the chance to either wash the turtles back up onto the sand or whisk them away out into the ocean. When the waves went over your feet, you had to stand still until you were able to locate each turtle so that you didn’t risk stepping on one. I had one wave wash one of the babies right over my feet….such a weird feeling.
After the turtle race, we went back up to the bucket of babies. The volunteer tipped over the bucket and gently let out the rest of the babies. We then collectively led them all to the water until all were headed out to hopefully live full lives and grow into adult turtles to begin the circle of life once more.