Thursday, January 26, 2012

January 24, 2012

On the endless beach at Riviera Nayarit in December Laurie and I found clusters of turtle egg shells. We also came across a few wire mesh enclosures in which turtle eggs were clearly being incubated (each 'nest' was marked with a date). Eventually I unearthed the secret and got to participate in the action. These were Ridley’s turtles, which we had never seen before, and volunteers cruise the beach on ATVs every night looking for laying turtles. I got to go along on a bumpy ride with a volunteer by the name of Memo. We found a nesting turtle and stole her almost 100 eggs as she laid them. She, being busy, was quite unaware of this. After she had spent several minutes smoothing over the now empty nest, she headed for the water. We watched until she was back home in the ocean, then took the eggs away and dug a surrogate nest in one of the enclosures. The other end of the story comes at sunset every day, when the turtle people release hundreds of newly hatched babies on the beach, and they head into the surf.  I got two of my own to launch.

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