First a warning that this post contains some graphic photos.
So last night Felipe, who you all know, went out on patrol with Pablo and Steven. Pablo is a young volunteer who is still in school and comes every Saturday to help out. Steven is an awesome drop in volunteer who has been with us just over a week. He dropped in (literally) from the sky in his own airplane at exactly the moment we really needed him.
These three had quite an eventful night in more than one way.
Shortly after leaving on patrol, they came upon a mama Golfina turtle who had been attacked by a pack of dogs. She had already laid her eggs when she was attacked. She was in bad shape, but still alive and trying to crawl when they found her. They brought her back to camp, bandaged her and put her in a safe place till morning when we could call the veterinarian who helps us in these cases. Then back to her nest of eggs to save them from the pack of dogs.
Since mama Golfina was safely in camp, and there was no more they could do for her, Steven stayed behind to keep watch and Felipe and Pablo continued with their beach patrol.
A little further down the beach….
They found a LEATHERBACK / LAÚD nest!!!
This is only 5th of the season, so it is very exciting news for us!
With Felipe’s experience and expertise, he could tell that poachers had been at the nest looking for her eggs. Thankfully, they either gave up or were chased away when our crew approached.
Whatever the reason, we are so relieved that the poachers did not find them. Our guys found the eggs, which is no easy task since they are about 1 meter deep! They recovered 66 viable eggs, which are now safely snuggled in our hatchery.
Now the sad news…upon their return to camp, we had some very bad news for them.
Even though they got the dogs away from her, bandaged her, and covered her with wet towels to keep her hydrated, she sadly did not make it. The damage done was just too bad. This is our first known dog attack this season. After having many last season, we had not had any this season.
This night highlights two of the reasons that we feel the need to be out patrolling the beach every night. Poaching of eggs and mama turtles by both people and dogs are both a big problem here. So, we keep patrolling hoping (knowing?) that we are chasing some of them off and keeping some our turtles safe!
Won’t you consider helping us continue to do this?
One way you can help is by adopting this new Leatherback/Laud nest. Not only does it help us, but it is great fun for you. You will see pictures from last night through the babies being release into the sea, and will get updates along the way!
Or become a Sustaining Member which provides us with a reliable donation stream through the year for as little as $5/month.
Anything you can do to help us help the turtles is greatly appreciated.