17 September 2009

Hawksbill hatchlings rescued at East Coast Park

From Louis of ACRES: "Just this morning, we released two Hawksbill turtles hatchlings into the sea. They were brought back from the brink of death after receiving emergency veterinary care from the ACRES team through the night."
"They were rescued along with 21 other hatchlings who were also released into the sea yesterday."

From Jen Lee's article in the New Paper 17 Sep 09 (full article also on wildsingapore news)
The hatchlings were spotted by Radio 91.3FM deejay Rod Monteiro. He was jogging at East Coast Park near the National Service Resort and Country Club at 7am when he spotted a turtle hatchling on the jogging track.

It was heading inland, and was more than 100m away from the shore.

When he looked around, he saw two others that had been run over on the cycling track and killed.

Later on, another group went to look for more hatchlings: about 15 people, including cyclists, passers-by and representatives from the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) led by Mrs Teresa Teo Guttensohn, the co-founder of Cicada Tree Eco-place.

The group managed to find 26 hatchlings. Five died from the heat or from being run over.
Why were the sea tutle hatchlings wandering inland?

Baby sea turtles' natural instinct is to head towards the sea. In nature, starlight and moonlight on the water would guide them in the right direction. However, in urbanised shores like ours, light from our parks, streets and other human activities disorientate them. As a result, they head in the wrong direction and usually come to a sad end.

What can we do if we see hatchlings on the beach?

Call the Police or NParks (Helpline number: 1800 4717300, or any other emergency number posted on signage in the park). They will then activate the Standard Operating Procedure to rescue them.

Singapore HAS sea turtles!

In May 06, a sighting on East Coast Park resulted in a similar effort which resulted in 76 hatchlings rescued from the tracks, drains and shore. Two had died. This effort involved members of the public, and volunteers from the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Nature Society (Singapore) and Blue Water Volunteers. More about this incident on the habitatnews blog.

Adult turtles are regularly sighted on our shores. The most recent was at Pulau Hantu just two weeks ago. With MORE sea turtle sightings in our waters.

More links
Posts about sea turtles on this blog

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