Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The turtles

After having eluded to a disaster with the turtles the other day... here is the story::

These cute little turtles... Pinky, John Deere, Mariner, August, Yin and Yang (guess who named what, and I will give you kudos!)... we don't know their fate, but we can only hope for the best.Here is a link with a little info on the program.

What they don't tell you is that if you release the turtles with birds nearby, they will QUICKLY spread the word that cute little morsels (turtles) are bobbing their way in shallow water... easy picking. It was like a horror film.
We get to hold the cute little almost helpless turtles.
We get the go-ahead to release them into the water.
They make their way through the sand to the surf.
We watch them floating, bobbing their cute little heads.
Then, we watch them being dive-bombed by seabirds!!

Yes, about 500 were released, but it was really sad. We told the kids the truth, but felt bad doing so (they don't seem to be scarred by it). But my mother-in-law, whose favorite animal is the turtle, I think is permanently damaged from it!
After the biologists saw what was happening, and that they were helpless, they gathered up the ones that hadn't made it to the surf, and we saw (and helped) release them later that night when there were no birds around.
Talking with people after the horror show, we quickly came up with some things they could have and should have done:

use fireworks as bird deterrent.
have a shotgun on hand.
released them all later at night (the obvious one!)Here is some really interesting baby turtle facts::

Hatchlings use the horizon and the crests of waves to make it to the ocean.

They also wait under the sand aftyer they hatch until it is cooler, which indicates nighttime, when they are less likely to become prey on their first leg of the journey.

Go here for more facts too.

It was really neat, but sad at the same time. I hope Pinky, Mariner, John Deere, August, Yin and Yang make it to adulthood.


Danielle said...

Okay.. I'll bite... Pinky: Ayla, John Deere: Colton, Mariner: Richard, August: Colleen, Yin and Yang you and Tyler or you and Kellen (inspired by Natalie's old shirt that Kellen was wearing)

Katie @ Sew Many Mamas said...

What a unique experience!