The talk of the Puerto Vallarta beach this past week was a turtle hatch. Why the mama turtle chose a busy resort beach as the nest for her eggs is anyone’s guess, but she did. Ultimately, it may have been a good thing.
During the week, a larger than normal surf rolled in, rearranging the sand dunes and exposing a turtle nest. The waves carried exposed eggs toward a backwater instead of toward the open sea. The eggs hatched during the day instead of at night. Black birds swooped in to take advantage.
People who know a lot more than I do were there to help. Baby turtles need to orient themselves to where they’re born and walk to the ocean themselves. The re-arranged sand made their success unlikely.
A woman moved two baby turtles closer to the water. She didn’t put them in the water, just put them within sight of the water. She and I stood and watched, cheering them on. One little turtle ran straight to the water and was swept away by the first wave. The second turtle appeared more unsure. The little guy walked parallel to the water for a while, the waves edging closer and closer. Finally, he, too, turned and walked in to greet the waves.
A man told me he’d watched over six little turtles until they were safely in the sea.
The exposed, unhatched eggs concerned many walkers. A couple went to the nearest hotel to alert security. They were told to collect the eggs and re-bury them in a secure area near the hotel until experts could come and relocate the eggs to the marina.
Maybe the hatchlings would have made it on their own, but the odds were against them. Many eggs were destroyed by the birds. A few more of the babies had a chance because people cared to look over them.