What a week!

14 06 2009

This week has been the busiest our hatchery has ever experienced! Our very first nest put out 6 more Green hatchlings on the 4th and 5th of June! And during the excavation of the nest we discovered a Siamese turtle that didn’t make it. This specimen had two heads, a distorted body and three hind flippers!

The second nest of the year, that was buried by students from the Australian International School Singapore (Green Group) started hatching on the 3rd of June and by the 6th of June we had released 90 Green hatchlings. We have one blind albino hatchling, fondly nicknamed Casper, who is proving to be a strong soul; a fighter despite it’s genetic in adequacies, although without the aid of camouflage or sense of vision, we don’t expect him to survive in the wild.


When this nest was excavated we discovered one more hatchling, fighting to emerge from its egg, we kept it over night to see if it could finish the job. With no change after 24 hours – we helped it out the eggs to find that its carapace (shell) hadn’t opened out fully, giving it a little bit of a hunchback appearance. Despite this, it was fighting fit when we released it, bombing down the beach at full speed, and heading straight out to sea!

Green from Nest 40

Just after midnight on the 7th of June, 39 Green hatchlings emerged from our 4th nest of the season. We released them all together at dawn.

During the excavation another nest on the 9th June, a lone green from the above nest surprised us with a stealth like entrance onto the sand. We released it immediately, and concluded that it must be a female, evident from its lack of direction sense. It zigzagged up and down the beach, whilst a group of girls from Raffles Girls School Singapore (RGS) cheered it on! A little bit confused, upon reaching the water, it made several, comical, returns to the beach, before zooming off into the sunset!

Green Hatchling just after emerging

That same night, another Green from the same nest popped up, followed by 75 healthy Hawksbills from the 3rd nest of the year (Also buried by AIS – Thanks guys!)! It was a textbook emergence, with the sand erupting almost non-stop with hatchlings, so fast that our staff had a real workout trying to keep up! At dawn the next day, RGS students woke up early to help release them all, and stand guard against the Ghost Crabs and Red-Eyed Reef Crabs that were eyeing up the little ones!

RGS Releasing Hawksbill Hatchlings at dawn.

Hawksbill Hatchling

Over the next few days, a handful of Hawkbills and Greens from already hatched nests appeared, giving all the students and guests a great chance to see the first steps of these hatchlings. This year we have released 306 hatchlings from 4 nests. We know that these turtles have a tough fight to survive to adulthood – but we hope that by protecting them during the first stage of their lives we chip away at the daunting 1/1000 chance of them reaching reproductive maturity!