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Turtle Babysitting - Night 11 (Monday)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I arrived at sunset. I set up my chair at what DH calls the 50 yard line - the marker right in the center of the turtle nest area. I chatted with the head staff person about how they do the nest excavation, what time, etc. - so if I miss the turtles, at least I could be there when they dig up the stragglers and measure them and let them go.

Apparently, leatherbacks don't have a concept of limited space - so when faced with being in a tank, for example, they will keep swimming into the walls and smacking their face or whatever - and they will actually injure themselves doing this. They're open ocean dwellers, and they don't understand physical boundaries. So if any of the stragglers need to be in a tank for rehydration or medication or anything, she has to put each little turtle on a leash so they can each swim around, but will be stopped short of swimming into the wall of the tank and injuring themselves. Strange, huh? Plus of course then the little turtles tangle their leashes with each other, and have to be periodically untangled so they can swim - she said it's a major pain to keep them in a tank for any period of time. I told her that if it comes to that, she can certainly call a number of the babysitting volunteers who could be trained and could care for the turtles overnight - she said she'll keep that in mind.

So, we sat, hung out, watched the stars, listened to a group of young adults playing bad guitar (with even worse singing) - and two guys who seemed to be establishing themselves as a couple, with one guy returning to the group and arguing with someone who didn't seem to like his lifestyle choices. Lots of noise. Lots of swearing. Lets hope we don't see them again.

I want turtles!!!!!!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLPNURSE 9/16/2009 6:49AM

    Too bad about the hoi poloi (sp? correct word usage?). Who knew about the little turtle leashes. I'm learning so much from your blog.

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SAPNA. 9/15/2009 8:08PM

    This is turning into the never ending story. lol. How long is the gestation period for these turtles.? You have told us such interesting things about them. I never knew any of it. fancy having to put the poor little things on leads so that they dont bang themselves on the side of the tank. Do they need to stay with a parent or do they go off and do their own thing? What do they eat? Come to think of it staying with a parent is a very bad idea for the parent. Dont they lay about 100 eggs. lol. I remember now, they lay the eggs and then hot foot it off some place else. Not surprised they get scared and run off. The thought of 100 kids wanting breakfast would cause most parents to commit suicide dont you think? emoticon

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