Saturday, October 06, 2012

Turtle Release Photos

I finally finished going through the hundreds of photos I took of the baby turtles. We stumbled on the turtle release by Tortugueros Las Playitas purely by accident. We'd seen information that it occurred here, but we assumed the timing wouldn't be right. But we arrived at the right time and turtles were hatching every day so we went back the next day with my sisters so they could see them. We were also approached by someone in town offering to take us to see the baby turtles, for a fee. We were smug that we had discovered them by ourselves for free.

I think these are Olive Ridley sea turtles, judging by the signs that said "tortuga golfina". At first we thought they were Leatherbacks but they didn't look like the pictures I found online. The web site says they release Olive Ridley, Black (aka Green), and Leatherback sea turtles. Olive Ridley's are listed as endangered. They are one of the smaller sea turtles, growing to less than a meter in length and 50 kg in weight. They are found in warm waters all over the world, but the west coast of Mexico and Central America is one of the prime nesting areas.

I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed seeing these amazing creatures at the very beginning of their lives. This initial sprint to the ocean is the last time they'll see dry land, until the females return to nest. It is incredible that something so small and so inexperienced can make it through the surf and survive in the wide open ocean.

click to view photos


  1. It is an amazing sight and experience isn't it? I stumbled across nesting turtles on the east coast of Costa Rica -- literally. I was walking along the beach in the dark and suddenly went head over heels over a turtle resting on her was up the beach to lay eggs.

  2. Loving all your photos, Andrew. Looks as if you are having a nice combination of adventure and pampering yourselves.