Endangered Hawksbill turtles hatching on Saadiyat Island

By Staff report  www.gulfnews.com

Abu Dhabi: Two resort employees spotted hundreds of baby turtle tracks on the beach of Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi last week, which led them to the discovery that endangered hawksbill sea turtles were hatching on the island. The duo were quick to alert the environment team of the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) which monitors the turtles under its Hawksbill Sea Turtle Conservation Programme.

“We’ve been checking the beach first thing every morning since the nest was laid,” said Shiva Kumar, from the Leisure & Spa team for St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort Abu Dhabi. “TDIC gave us training on what to look out for and how to identify turtle tracks, and they told us that it took between 50 and 60 days for a turtle nest to hatch.”

Kumar and beach lifeguard Sunil Shetty, both from India, were the first to spot the turtle hatchlings, said a press release issued by TDIC yesterday.

“Shiva and I were conducting our routine morning beach check, and suddenly we came across hundreds of tiny turtle tracks making their way from the dune area to the shore,” explained a thrilled Shetty. “It really makes you happy to see; we’ve been keeping an eye on the nest for the past two months and making sure it remained protected — so in a way we feel like those little turtles were part of the family.” More info

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