Sunday, August 13, 2006
No, this Park Ranger intern is not snoozing on the job. She is listening for sounds of baby turtles scratching below the sand. After the eggs hatch, it may take three to seven days for them to dig their way to the surface.
Last night a couple of hatchlings made their way to the surface, where an intern stood by to assist. They are gently scooped into a container, taken closer to the water's edge, then allowed to crawl out of the container, onto the beach and into the water.
This last step of allowing the hatchlings to move around in the sand and work their way to the Gulf is very important since it is the way our beach is 'imprinted' on the turtle as their birth beach. Female turtles will generally return to the same beach where they were hatched to lay their eggs.
Tonight the rest are expected to emerge!
Ahhhhh...I feel like handing out cigars -- candy ones, of course.