Baby turtles have to cross a treacherous stretch of sand from their nest to the water, trying to escape the ever-present predators on their way.
At least 140 baby green turtles were released into the sea at Hawkes Bay Beach on Dec 6, 2019 in the second release of the season.
Officials in the Sindh Wildlife Department (SWD) said that 70 turtles of the same species had been released in Nov, adding that they would continue with the activity until February. According to the officials, hundreds of turtles have been released into the sea every year since 1980.
From nesting to their release to the waters, these reptiles have a fascinating story of birth and survival, explained Javed Ahmed Mahar, the SWD’s provincial conservator.
“Turtles are orphaned at birth,” said Mahar, elaborating that the mother does not return to the eggs after laying them. “There is no one to look after or protect the eggs. A baby turtle has to struggle to find its way out from the sand itself,” he added, saying that it was completely exposed to any danger nearby.
There is usually a distance of 100 to 150 feet from the turtle’s nest to the water, and predators keep their eyes open to catch the newly hatched turtles. The only way for them to reach the sea is to keep moving to cross the distance, Mahar said, adding, “A turtle’s life means struggle. There is a great lesson we can learn from this reptile.”
The story doesn’t end when the turtle reaches the water either. “There are other predators awaiting them in the sea,” Mahar pointed out. “The one who survives is lucky.”
The staff of the SWD’s Marine Turtle Conservation Unit at Hawkes Bay Beach, however, aids their struggle, looking after the eggs and then remaining with the baby turtles until they safely make their way to the sea.