In May 2018 a Green Turtle was hatching on our beach and 115 babies emerged two months later
After spending sixty days below the surface of the sand, tiny little paddling fins
and fragile bodies emerge in a pile, crawling together with their siblings, hatchlings
speed towards the white tips of the waves. Some 25 years later, females whose
magnetic compass was set on that first march to the ocean, return to the same
beach to lay their very own eggs. Laka Lodge’s beach has had a few Mama turtles
emerge over the past several years, however on the 15th of May 2018, one mother
successfully nested right in front of our bungalows. To ensure the upmost safety
of the turtle eggs, which the mother unknowingly left very close to the tideline,
all 115 were carefully relocated to a safe distance from the tide. A small fence
was constructed to provide protection from any land-based predators and the wait
Exactly 61 days later, at around 7pm in the evening, a little nose emerged. The turtles had begun their shifting sand movements to the surface of their nest. They waited a long time, potentially to gather an audience, or maybe due to a few late exiters from their egg. At 2:45 am on the 18th of July, out poured the stream of green turtle hatchings. Merely 8cm long, scampering down the low tide beach into the ocean. Hopefully, safely surviving to adult hood and coming back to continue including Laka Lodge’s beach.
Green turtles can weigh between 110 kg and 190 kg and live for about 80 years. The generally lay anywhere between 100-120 eggs, start nesting at the age of 25 and can lay up to 4 clutches per season every two years. Turtle hatchlings start emerging from their eggs which causes the sand to shift, and signals predators and spectators that the hatchling ‘boil’ is about to begin. As a defence mechanism, hatchlings wait until all their siblings are out of their shells and for the sand to cool down before emerging. The cool sand typically signals night time, where there are fewer predators hindering their path to the ocean.
Watch the video of our Scuba Diving Instructor Katt describing the relocation process, and then take a moment to see the great moment when the baby turtles emerge.