Life in Ras Kutani is slow: the tranquil pace is set by the Indian Ocean’s waves breaking on the Swahili Coast, and by the rising and setting of the sun. With sunrise, the staff normally arrive in camp to start their day. June 12th turned out to be a day filled with excitement.
As Lucas, the trusty Massai, patrolled the beach early morning he came across drag marks over the soft sand. On the other end of the drag marks… A Green Sea Turtle covering up her freshly laid eggs, visibly exhausted after an entire night on the beach.
Radio-ing back to the office in camp Lucas could barely contain his excitement – it is, after all, very rare to witness turtles laying eggs! And with that exciting radio-call a whole process was set in motion. Turtle eggs are vulnerable to all sorts of natural and man-made threats. Our local partners, Sea Sense, takes it upon their shoulders to give these eggs the best possible chance at survival by relocating them to protected breeding areas where they can develop with a proverbial “do not disturb” sign on their nest.
Sea-sense was called in, while Lucas kept a watchful eye on his find. Their “egg-extraction fundi” Mohammed soon arrived on his motorcycle and immediately set to work digging up the eggs, carefully extracting each of the 134 precious eggs from a hole 80cm deep. It’s painstaking work but a huge boost to the survival chances of these majestic sea-creatures.
The eggs will now incubate for a further 55 days in a location free from any threats and we hope to report back in August that all of them have made it into their new home: The Indian Ocean.
Through all the excitement we got a few photos of the female making her way back to into the ocean.