Sometimes a meeting is unexpected, and that is the beauty of travel. It is then 17h in this month of September on the beach of Pantai kuta. In the alley along the fine sand is the Bali Sea Turtle Society, a sea turtle protection organization created by Balinese. They have been working since 2011 to involve and train the local community to protect these turtles.
Young ambassadors for the protection of the species
In front of the sculpture in the shape of turtle, the queue of tourists has finally disappeared. This is the perfect time to take a look at what sparked so much interest. Climbing the few steps that separate us from the inside, we discover that his heart is filled with sand dotted with a multitude of small signs. Each indicates the location of the eggs with their origin, date of laying and date of presumed release. Several small turtles coming out of their shells already pacing the surrounding sand. For those already out, the adventure began at a public delivery to the sea a few hours ago. But luckily, we will be able to attend a very special event. The teams have gathered several baby turtles for whom the call of the sea has arrived.
We are heading with the Bali Sea Turtle Society teams to shore. For their start at sea, a Buddhist monk celebrates a ceremony on the beach to wish these young turtles good luck. And they will need it!
In September 2017, the number of released turtles was already 700 instead of 500 the previous year on the same date. The turtles are put to sea at the place where their mothers came to lay between May and July: the beaches of Kuta, Legian and Semyniak. Throughout this period, the association recovers the eggs and puts them under cover in a sand nursery to allow them to hatch safely. Tourists can come to see newborns.
That evening, when releasing the turtles, the few tourists and residents present on the beach gather around the teams that have moved closer to the sea. Many children are intrigued by the content. seals and the rare chance to be able to even these baby turtles go to sea for the very first time.
See you in 13 years?
The sun sets and the turtles are released in small groups. The surf of the sea brings them back to the beach. They struggle to get out to sea and get caught in the legs of observers. The key word: do not move! For the turtles brought back by the waves, the people of the association are there to accompany them all in the water, farther from the beach and thus to make sure of their departure. Only 1 in 1000 will reach adulthood, but with the help of the association their chances of departure are already greatly increased. For 30 to 50 years they will return to this same beach lay every 2 to 8 years.
So who knows, we may see them again in a few years on a future trip back to this beach to give birth to the next generation. It’s only a good bye…