Extending our holiday in Melaka was indeed a very great idea because we got to help release baby turtles to have their first swim in the ocean.
We were about to check-out from the Inn on Monday (Dec 6, 2010) when we overheard a group of children talking about the release of baby turtles at 6.30pm by the innkeeper. Having no encounter at all with turtles face to face, we excitedly extended our stay for one more day and waited eagerly by the beach sharp 6.30pm.
According to Ruhaizan Omar, one of the inn’s employee, a hawksbill turtle made its way into the inn area and laid some 70 eggs there in September 2010. The eggs hatched on December 4.
Yassin holding hawksbill baby turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata). The 2 days old baby turtles were so tiny and I think each one of them weighted more or less around 20 grams.
My husband holding our adopted tiny babies, named Squirtle and Blastoise by Yassin.Yes, too much Pokemon.
Hawksbill turtle has heart-shaped carapace
Ruhaizan told us that the turtles will be back home in 15 years’ time. Let’s pray that all 70 babies will have a safe journey living their destined life in the ocean so that they will come back safe to Pengkalan Balak shore.
I did some readings about hawksbill and found out that in 1982, The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has red-listed hawksbill species as Endangered and it was upgraded to Critically Endangered in 1996. This is due to the fact that many adult turtles have been killed by humans, both deliberately and incidentally. The eggs are eaten as delicacy and some have been harvested for their beautiful carapaces. Their shells were even made as jewelry, combs and brushes. This reminds me of the fact that Leatherback turtles are not returning to Terengganu due to excessive egg-collection, fishery-related mortality (for example, accidental mortality in the nets and long-lines of fishing fleets), pollution, and coastal development.
Also found out from Save Our Sea Turtles that over 400,000 Sea Turtle eggs were being eaten each year in Terengganu. Only 1 in 10,000 Sea Turtle live to adulthood.
So, lets help save the turtles. Do not collect or eat their eggs. Please educate yourself about turtles. You can find a lot of information about them on the internet. For a start, you can read here, here and here.
Ok, last but not least, I managed to record the baby turtles using my phone! Enjoy!
More pictures of our overall journey and route map soon in another post. Come back here often ya.