Breaking free for the sea!
It was our first time excavating a green turtle nest. I could feel the warm grainy sand between my toes and the gentle breeze coming in off the sea. The volunteers and I were standing around the body pit watching Rani, one of the staff members, carefully digging up sand around the nest site. Unfortunately Rani wasn’t the only one in the body pit…she was joined by a number of hungry ants which were biting her continuously as though they were half starved!
As Rani passed us the empty egg shells of turtle hatchlings I was surprised by how rubbery and strong they were; for some reason I expected them to be fragile and easily breakable. As I was thinking this Rani suddenly gave a shout and we saw a small flipper emerge from the sand. Soon after came a head and a second frontal flipper; it was a turtle hatchling! Clearly this turtle had slept in and was running a bit behind its brothers and sisters.
We gently helped it out of the body pit and watched in childish fascination as it slowly but surely made its way towards the mouth of the sea. Seeing its journey was amazing, as was watching this tiny turtle determinedly move through the sand and enter the frothing and foaming sea to begin its life.
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