Chasing sunsets in Tioman Part 6: Save the turtles….please.
17 March 2015
Our guide is truly a local since young. In the car while driving, he was sharing stories of some of the locals in the island. He was telling us that there can be only 3 students in a class because of the small population. He could even name some of the naughty kids who was well known in the village.
He brought us here and told us a little bit about the turtles who frequently visited the beach to lay eggs. I was obviously very interested.
Here are the different kinds of turtles that used to visit. I did not know there were so many types of turtles!
As the person started to explain the dangers and threats to the turtles, I started to worry. There were so many threats now, its sad. In fact, he was telling us that most of the types of turtles do not turn up on the beaches anymore. They were considered ‘locally extinct’. He also mentioned that they were not sure if the turtles were extinct in general but they most certainly hope not.
Sadly, the main reason why the number of turtles are fast declining was due to human activities. This is controllable. One of the threat was the disposing of plastic bags. The turtles would mistake these as jellyfish and they will die after eating it.
This is devastating news.
He also mentioned that one of the best way to keep the turtles coming was to keep the place and beach clean. Pollution really killed a lot of the sea animals, a majority of it without our knowledge.
The place was also a nesting place for turtles. To increase the probability of more turtles coming and also to keep the place safe, the volunteers here would keep the hatched eggs at a safer place. This is to protect the eggs from being taken by ignorant humans or eaten by monitor lizards.
Once they hatch, the turtles are all released back to the sea. None was kept at the site.
Of course to do that, they had to patrol regularly to check if any turtles stop by the beach to lay eggs. He said that if we were lucky, we could see them coming to the beach but alas, luck was not on our side since we were only there for a short time.
This. 80% decline of sea turtles in the last 10 years. We don’t want the turtles to become totally extinct right?
I wish people can be more considerate towards nature. It really pains me whenever I see animals suffering and dying because of inconsiderate actions of humans. God created this world big and beautiful enough for us, why distort this and disrupt this peace?
The guide was nice enough to explain to us and answer our questions. He revealed that there was one turtle in the site and that we could see it.
This is Joe. He has been here for 8 years. The main reason why he has been here was because he is blind. He has no eyes. When he was released into the sea, while other turtles swam back to the sea, Joe kept going round in circles. They thought it was odd. After checking Joe, they realized that he was born without eyes, thus being out in the wild would be difficult and dangerous for him.
And so they kept him safe here. He responds mostly by sound. This saddens me.
As an animal lover stories like this really impact me in a big way. I once cried in the bus when I read news that one of the cats in a local cat cafe passed away. I didn’t even know that cat but I guess that’s just me.
I wish people can wake up and realize that this world is not ours. It really annoys me whenever I see oil spill and litters in the sea. Seriously people, get your act together and use some common sense!
One day this world will not be around for our great great grandchildren because of the pollution and our inconsiderate acts that we keep on doing now
We have to protect the turtles, you would not want us to be the turtles instead right?
Save the turtles…..and the other endangered species now. Please.