Turtle walk, Feb 20, 2010

Another Lovely Turtle walk! From having first timer’s luck last week (Feb 13) to getting even more luckier this time… Guess what?? We managed to see a live demonstration of Turtle nesting by none other than our Olive Ridley! Thank you for coming.. and let us all take a pledge, as a CTCian, we will do everything possible along with Tree foundation to keep the shore safe and in easy access to these harmless creatures to continue nesting here without any problem. From where did they learn to nest? After closing the nest, She went and did the same thing(just the dancing part) nearby the nest to camouflage it. You need to experience it to understand.

There were 33 CTCians who turned up. 31 new CTCians + 1(myself) + 1 Krishnamoorthy from (last week Turtle walk). Krishnamoorthy was apparently moved by the work done by Tree foundation. If possible, He wants to visit Tree foundation every week.

Tree foundation is in need of volunteers during the week days as well as on weekends, please come forward and help them. Their web address ishttp://treefoundationindia.org/ or contact pramod or myself.

The night started of with a short documentary by Tree foundation to help the walkers understand the cause behind the walk. And I opted to see Turtle Karuna and Hope as I’ve already seen the documentary last week.

Update on Karuna and Hope:

Karuna (She lost 3 of her flippers) : She is getting better, and Tree foundation is doing everything possible to keep her in a better position. I’ve uploaded a short video of Karuna eating fish. Flash photography is prohibited there, I’ve taken a snap of them too, it wont be clear.

Hope (She lost 1 of her flipper) : Hope is really getting better and almost ready to get back to her home (Sea). They have to keep her there for 2 weeks after stopping the anti-biotic. By all count, She should be heading back to sea by the first week of march.

Everyone were supposed to see them before heading for the walk. But after the documentary got over and Dr. Supraja madam was clearing up the gathering with their doubts, School students came up running with the phone. They are volunteers of Tree foundation! I had the opportunity to speak with one of them, He is studying in 9th standard. He visits the Tree foundation every weekend except during exams. C’mon CTCians, We need to do something for the Turtle conservation. Jan to March is the season, full year commitment is not needed here. Read the leaflet for more details. The news with the phone call was, a Olive Ridley has come for nesting. Of we go!! This time all were ready with their vehicle to follow Supraja Madam’s vehicle in a hurry, thanks to last week’s experience :). Once she drove out of the Tree Foundation compound, I could feel the excitement with which everyone followed her..

Once we reached the spot, everyone slowly without making any noise assembled at some distance from her. The sight was truly special. She was digging the hole with her back flippers. The sand was flying all over her head and falling in the front. Truly amazing sight. I manged to sms Pramod about this and he could’t believe my luck for the second time running.. 🙂 Once she started to lay eggs, everyone crawled around and reached her back, as flash photography was prohibited at that time, I couldn’t take any picture of this.. Once they allowed us to take with flash, it was all flashing around. Tree foundation recorded her data for the record, and we were all enjoying the sight. Once she finished her task. She started to close the nest. It was a Turtle dance. I’ve managed to take the video of this. Will post the link once i upload it. It failed to upload yesterday… 🙁 I’ll try again tonight. its a 3 min video and its big in size…

After the nesting, Tree foundation demonstrated to us with a mock drill for satellite tagging. Turtle was totally restless during this exercise. She even tried to climb over the wooden wall and escape. After some time she calmed down and allowed Tree foundation to carry on the work. All that Tree foundation tried to do was to save the future generations of her family. The data recorded from the satellite tagging will be used to know their path in the sea, their patterns and these data will be used to understand them better and help the Tree foundation in Turtle Conservation. It was a mock drill, they will start the actual process shortly. After these drill got over, She happily went into the sea again.

Then we got back to the nesting site and relocated those eggs to nearby hatchery. After this, few returned back to the Tree foundation to see the documentary(those who missed it) and the rest continued on the short walk.

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