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Places | Seychelles| Turtle Hatchling Rescue

Turtle Hatchling Rescue
by Alex

One afternoon our anchor got stuck in a mooring. When we were trying to untangle it, I saw a baby turtle hatchling in the water, hidden in some seaweed among all the oil and rubbish. So we carefully got in the dinghy and gently paddled towards the place where it had been. Meanwhile my mom still on the boat fished one out with a bucket and said: “I got it”! But then dad said: "But what’s this one over here?" There were more of them! Then Casper and I, who were in the dinghy, fished the one out that dad had spotted. We fished it out very carefully and put it in a bucket of fresh salt water without oil. Then we went to look for more, and we found another one. We fished it out just as carefully as with the last one. Then we looked for more but didn’t find any. We returned with the hatchlings to the boat and put them in another bucket with more water in it and rinsed some seaweed and put it in the bucket as well (so they will feel that they have protection). Two of the hatchlings could be brothers or sisters because they both had some algae growing on them and they were the same size. The third one had maybe just hatched because it was smaller and had no algae and was very clean. I felt proud that I may have saved three turtle hatchlings and I liked having some turtles on board. Then I went to bed.

The next morning we got up early to go to Cousin island. On the way there we discovered that every time we would come to see the hatchlings they would sit absolutely still, so you would think they were dead or part of the seaweed. We also thought that they couldn't swim down and practice swimming because there wasn’t enough room. We changed the bucket to a bigger square blue bucket which they liked. We took some seaweed out of the bucket and that was a good idea because the turtles started swimming down and going under the seaweed and swimming around the bucket. They were now very active and I was watching them a lot. I saw they where trying to eat the seaweed, it looked so cute. This is how they did it: they bit down on the seaweed and pushed the rest of the seaweed away with their front flippers. Have a look at the little movie clip. Then we arrived at Cousin island and we wanted to set them free but we saw some big fish swimming around our boat that might eat them. There were also waves breaking on the rocks down current so we decided to keep them a bit longer.

The next morning we went to the Sister islands where we wanted to free the hatchlings. When we got there we decided it was a good place to set them free. So my dad and I carefully took the bucket and lowered it gently into the dinghy. We all got in the dinghy and drifted back a little bit. Then we lowered the bucket into the water and off they went! Mom and Casper also got into the water to film and photograph them. While dad and I watched them they all went in different directions. The smallest hatchling went swimming off, another one stayed with a little bit of seaweed and the third one went off in a another direction and found a little bit of plant and stayed with it for camouflage.

I liked having them on board but they really belong in the sea. I missed them! I hope that they will be alright and survive to become big turtles that will come back one day to nest on the beach where they were born.


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