Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary

On the island of Bequia, a retired diver and fisherman, Orton King, has dedicated his life to supporting wild populations of Hawksbill turtles.  He collects newly-hatched turtles, and raises them in captivity until they are five years old, then releases them into the wild.

Left on their own, only one in 3000 hatchlings makes it to adulthood.  Mr. King believes that as many as 15 out of every 100 turtles in his care survive in the wild.  He marks the shells by drilling two small holes, and gets many reports from cruisers and divers who have seen his turtles, some from as far away as Grenada.

We saw small turtles, about 7 months old and the size of your hand, all the way up to large ones, almost ready to be released.  Every shell has different patterns and colors, all are beautiful.

It was fantastic to see these creatures up close, and amazing how graceful they are in the water.

Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary


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