Baby Turtles On Maldivian Island Resort Velassaru
In the Dhivehi language, the word 'veela' means 'turtle'. Hence, it is
no wonder that a Green Turtle picked Velassaru Island in the South Male
Atoll, Maldives to lay her eggs.
This momentous event, which took place in May 2015, was rare as turtles
would normally choose remote places to lay their eggs. Yet, for this
particular green turtle, she decided that the resort island of
Velassaru would be the nesting place for her clutch of eggs.
It turned out to be the perfect location.
When the team at the
five-star Velassaru Maldives learnt about this, a net was erected to
protect the nest and the staff kept a vigilant eye on it.
After 58 days, on July 23rd, the baby turtles were hatched. Watched
over from a distance by hotel staff and guests, the 124 hatchlings
broke free from the nest and made their way across the wide sandy
beach, and into the Indian Ocean. Every single one of them made it
safely into the ocean.
It would be 30 to 50 years before the baby turtles would be ready to
breed. Once the females mate and are ready to lay their eggs, they
would seek out a quiet place to nest.
At night, the mother turtle comes to shore and digs a hole, into which
she lays about 70 to 120 eggs with soft flexible shells. She then
covers them with sand to protect them against dehydration and
predators. Once this is done, the turtle returns to the sea.
The island's marine biologist Santiago said that to encourage other
turtles to lay their eggs on the beach, stretches of beach should be
kept shaded and quiet. As the resort eagerly awaits the return of the
baby turtles when they reach adulthood, it equally welcomes other
nesting turtles to its shores as, according to Santiago: “Here, their
babies are safe!”