Sunday, December 04, 2011

Baby sea turtles march to the Pacific Ocean

I am a non-serious wildlife watcher. I pay attention (and own two books on birds), but I just take in wildlife while I am enjoying the walking, hiking, exploring I enjoy doing every day and everywhere I go.

I especially pay attention when I see wildlife I have never seen before, like a couple times per year. We had a unique sighting on Friday. We are at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in the middle of two weeks.

We went to the beach about 15 minutes before sunrise. Gini was ahead of me; in the lights of a dune buggy the resort uses on the beach she told me she was helping save the baby turtles. Huh? Baby sea turtles had hatched during the night and the employees had just discovered them. I joined her and two resort employees in picking them up to place them about 20 feet from the water so the tiny guys - about 4 inches long - could do the last part on their own. The hand-carry trip was to avoid people out for sunrise from stepping on them. Even without mysticism about their environment ruined by humans, it was a moving experience. But then a manager came along and told them to store them for the day to be released at sunset with cameras present. Some people also thought that the little guys have a better chance at avoiding predators if they take their first swim at sunset.

Despite our fears, the PR people didn't ruin it. They just let us gringos each grab one to set on the sand near the water. It was a lot of fun. Of course we all named our own turtle.

The restort has lots of bartenders and bar waiters, but no one who knows about and has time to tell customers about the wildlife. Surprising, since the area is abundant with it. The list of whales seen in the entry to the Gulf of Cortez/California area is every kind in the Pacific. There are employees who keep track of the turtles hatching and do what is possible to get them successfully in the ocean. They are helpful, but know little English. After a bilingual quiz about species of turtles I was told these are "Golfo" turtles.

My photos. Click to enlarge.