On the 8th of January this year George Kalama, a fisherman from Uyombo, found Stumpy in his nets.
We got a call and rushed to the beach where he was entangled. We examined him for any injuries and sadly he was missing half a front flipper. However it was exciting to discover out that he was an adult because we normally find young turtles in our creeks, older turtles tend to live in the open ocean.
We decided as he was an adult we would work with WWF on their current project. We fixed him up with a satellite tag, a special device which allows people to track him.
It was fixed onto his back with waterproof glue.
Because he was such a big guy we needed a big team to get him to the beach!
Stumpy had to be cooled down with water on his long walk to the sea.
Follow Stumpy’s progress along with us at www.seaturtle.org.
November has been a very busy month here at Watamu Turtle Watch with over 110 turtles released by our catch program. This is the largest number in one month since we started this program 10 years ago! We have had two great volunteers this month who have participated in numerous releases and the last 3 hatching events for this year. It’s always an amazing experience to watch the nests explode and the little hatchlings run down the beach.
This month we also welcomed back Kahindi, our outreach and education coordinator. He has been studying hard and now comes back to us with new skills to bring to his work. All the fisher groups have been eagerly awaiting his return. We are also welcoming Nelly Kadogai as a full time staff member to coordinate the local and international volunteer programs.
December also promises to be another busy turtle month for Watamu and its visitors. We are looking forwad to a Happy Turtle Christmas.
This month we held our inaugural Local Ocean Day in collaboration with A Rocha Kenya and Turtle Bay Beach Club.
We had a total of over 250 school children and community groups who participated in the day’s events, including a beach cleanup, sand art sculpture competition and quiz for school children.
The beach clean-up covered a wide area from Blue Bay Hotel to Plot 28 (A Rocha Kenya). A total of 50 plastic bags were filled with non-biodegradable rubbish collected from the beach such as plastics, glass bottles and flip-flops. This was the first time we had covered such a long stretch of beach during a cleaning exercise.
The Sand Art Sculpture competition was stiff with 21 entries from 10 community groups and 11 schools. The overall six winning teams in this competition were awarded with prizes donated by A Rocha Kenya, Local Ocean Trust, Turtle Bay Beach Club and Gelato Ice Cream Shop. The overall best winning team, Dongokundu Primary had designed a mangrove and turtle sculpture. This depicted the day’s theme of instilling in the local community an appreciation of their marine environment and an understanding of the interrelation between the mangrove ecosystem and their importance in providing a foraging habitat for juvenile green and hawksbill turtles in Mida Creek.
In the afternoon, school children from all 11 schools gathered at Turtle Bay Conference Hall for the final of the ASSETS inter-school quiz between Malanga and Mijomboni Primary Schools, and to award prizes for a best essay competition about the local bush meat trade in Arabuko-Sukoke forest. The winners were awarded with prizes donated by Nature Kenya and Turtle Bay Beach Club, including a Dhow trip for the winning school. While very hot and sweaty out in the sun, we had a great day and look forward to doing it again next year!
We welcome volunteers! Come help us rescue turtles on the beaches of Kenya. For more information, please go to our website www.watamuturtles.com or email us at [email protected]