Friday, August 14, 2009

Who Steals Turtles?


I came home to find out that one of the turtle nests on the beach had been robbed. 83 empty and cracked egg shells were found. Deep indentations in the sand appeared to have been made by someone's knees. There were no signs that any of the turtles made it to the sea. You have no idea how terrible this is.

These nests are watched everyday once the mother has come ashore in the night to lay her eggs. There are organized groups of volunteers who take this job to heart. Up an island or two is one of the largest turtle rehabilitation facilities on the east coast. We take our turtles seriously here.

Apparently the Feds do too. They are now helping in the investigation. I ask you "Who steals turtles?" How could you possibly take care of 83 baby turtles?



The nest are fenced off and these signs are posted on the fence. Nest watchers walk every morning and afternoon to check on the nest. Then when the time gets close the watcher calls everyone and the hatchlings are counted and helped to the sea.

Loggerhead sea turtle. This is the most prominent visitor we have here. However, for the first time in years we had a Leatherback turtle come and lay her eggs. The tracks were enormous. They are the fourth largest living reptiles.

Laying eggs in the sand. Many of the nests have over a hundred eggs. When I was a kid we would go out at night and walk the beach to watch the turtles come in to lay their eggs. They were so big and determined. Not till I was an adult did I get to see them hatch and flee for the sea.

BabyLoggerhead hatchlings getting help to the sea. Aren't they cute?

18 comments:

Eila A said...

Oh, I'm so awfully sorry to hear about this terrible crime someone has committed. I think people should respect all animals and life forms, especially those threatened by extinction. I do hope this is the last time you shall experience something like this crime.

Jan said...

It breaks my heart to see the struggle that baby turtles have to get to the sea - and then they are still not completely safe. But I have also seen on a tv programme that there is quite a business in stealing the babies. It's hard to imagine how heartless some people can be. Beautiful photographs Elizabeth.

lyle baxter said...

what a sad thing. . you are right how could anyone care for that many turtles. but the answer is they dont care. probably sold immediately to some pet shop somewhere! hope you all catch the jerk! lyle

Bea said...

Is there a market for them? Is there some strange use for them that some one would risk the Feds to take them? It's hard to believe that someone didn't know it was wrong. Heck, I'm out here in the Midwest and even I've heard about them and the program.
What a shame. :)Bea

Diann said...

I saw this on the news and it is indeed so sad...we have turtle watches on Oak Island and I'm just mad and shocked about this. Diann

Jamie said...

Oh this makes me Boiling Mad!!!! I hope they are caught quickly enough to save the babies. How will they imprint their nesting grounds after this? Poor babies. We spent time watching the turtles in Charleston (Folly Beach). Amazing! My father works for the SC Department of Wildwife. He is going to be so very mad when I tell him this. Keep us updated Sweetie! Love, Jamie

Terri Kahrs said...

This is SO upsetting on so many levels. There will be extremely heavy karma to repay in the next lifetime for the heathens who destroyed the nests. How sad. I hope and pray that the vandals are caught soon. xoxo

Mar said...

that is terrible news!
people do crazy destructive things..
no reason or logic is ever linked to most stuff
except greed of course...
maybe they will catch them!

and yes they are cute!

Trudi Sissons said...

I share in your sadness. I wonder how much it would cost to have either the beach patroled or cameras installed? I want to think it wasn't a person(s) but an animal and that then makes it more reconcilable for at least it is the natural order of mother nature and not 'criminal.'

simple~needs said...

i am so sorry to hear this!! what is wrong with people?? when i read the title i thought maybe you were talking about the turtle that was stolen from the columbus zoo here in ohio. i would like to know how someone managed to steal a 100 years + turtle out of the zoo?? people are getting ridculous!!!

crimsoncat05 said...

ooh, I hope they find the person, and throw the book at them! (or at least a very big fine, anyway...) A lot of people don't seem to pay any attention to the laws protecting wild animals.

Dezinaworld said...

Oh Elizabeth, this is terrible. How could someone do such a thing ? Its unbelievable what some people can do. Absolutely heartbreaking.
Thanks so much for sharing these photos, maybe it will help people to see that we all need to do more to protect them
hugs June x

Sharon said...

What amazing photos you have posted Elizabeth, a beautiful life cycle sequence. The total disregard for life that some people have is extremely disturbing.

Thanks for sharing this.
Sharon

The Paris Salon said...

I will NEVER understand why some people do things that hurt animals. These are such awesome creatures!!
Cheers,
Gaye

Jann said...

Loved your photos and post--people are so unbelievable sometimes, aren't they? I'm continually amazed at the lack of respect for nature and our environment. I was at the beach in San Francisco recently, and I was appalled at the trash and graffiti that was there. There was even a dirty diaper left in the parking lot about 2 feet away from a trash can! What would it have taken for whoever left it to walk a few steps from their car to throw it away??????!

Patti said...

makes me want to cry...

purplepaint said...

Oh how awful!!! 83 baby turtles? What on earth were they thinking?!

~*~Magpie's Nest said...

oh they are so precious Elizabeth, reading about the theft leaves me shaking my head....it's times like this one wonders what the world is coming to!