The team at Thanda Island, the Indian Ocean hideaway located off the Southern coast of Tanzania, was overjoyed to have been witness to the final two Green Turtle hatchings on Monday 5 June after a long and increasingly anxious wait.
With the due date established as 27th May following the nesting of a Green Turtle on 2nd April between the boathouse and the helipad, concern had mounted as the incubation period became overdue. The nest site had been checked daily every high tide and at cooler times of the day when turtles are most likely to hatch, and particularly rigorously from 27th May.
They called in marine conservation NGO partner Sea Sense when nothing appeared to be happening a week later. The experts confirmed that a strange banana-shaped hole that had been spotted near to the nest site was in fact created by the digging of the hatchlings as they made their escape to the sea – only the night before. Carefully investigating further with all of Thanda Island’s staff looking on, to also help further their turtle conservation training, the experts came across a little turtle wriggling its way out of the sand. They watched in awe as it swung its small body in the direction of the ocean and followed it as it moved, one flipper after the other, with all its strength, until it arrived at the water’s edge. After witnessing one last turtle’s dash for the ocean, the team counted the shells of 110 hatchlings and 7 underdeveloped eggs – an impressive number.
The first turtle hatching on the island in seven years, this was a particularly poignant moment for the island team. Feeling blessed by having been touched by this little creature, and knowing the long journey that it now faces, they hope and look forward to seeing it again over the next 25-30 years.