It has been a busy month here at Local Ocean Trust -Watamu Turtle Watch, with our new accommodation filling up, and lots of turtle action keeping our ecotourist volunteers busy. There have been 38 rescues and releases this month, with up to 4 rescues a day. There were 24 Green Turtles, 13 Hawksbill Turtles, and our first successful live Loggerhead Turtle rescue. It has also been a busy month for the nesting turtles, with 3 new nests being laid and 4 nests hatching producing a total of 493 live hatchlings, with nearly all the hatchlings making it to the sea.
Our rehabilitation centre currently has 3 Turtles. 2 Hawksbill Turtles recuperating and gaining strength with the hope of releasing them in the hopefully not to distant future, but we will update you with their progress every month. Kasumni, who has been with us for the last 4 years, has been going for regular sea swims with the ecotourists, to help her get used to her future home. We have to take the little hawksbill, who has a blockage of the gut, to be x-rayed every fortnight, but unfortunately due to our limited facilities, and limited local medical facilities, we have to take her to Malindi Hospital to get her fortnightly x-ray, which raises eyebrows in the waiting room! We also had a new arrival, a Green Turtle, who was the victim of a speargun fisherman, and was rescued from Uyombo.
Edward ( our community education coordinator)organised the Environmental and Animal Welfare education drama and poetry competition at the local high school in Gede, for 19 local primary and high schools, which had over 400 students participating in it. The volunteers were asked to act as judges, which they were all very excited about. It was an entertaining day; and was great to see the enthusiasm and talent of the local children, and to know the issue of animal welfare and environmental issues were being taken so seriously and passionately by them.
One of volunteers, Tim, had an amazing experience a few weeks ago. Stepping onto the beach for night patrol, he heard a loud noise, went over to investigate and saw a large female green turtle walking up the beach in order to lay her eggs. While this is a regular event on the beaches of Watamu, it is rare to see one as soon as you step foot on the beach! Having just arrived a few days earlier he is a lucky man!
We had a wonderful turn out for our fundraising dinner at Ocean Sports. The food was great, there was a lot of fairly questionable dancing, and great fun was had by all. The raffle was also a great success, especially with the volunteers, nearly all of whom managed to win prizes, and Felicity, who won two, but decided that she shouldn’t be so greedy and gave one back. We raised over ksh80,000, and so many thanks for the generosity to all of those who attended and especially to those who donated raffle prizes.
All this good work would not be possible if it were not for, volunteers, donations, and turtle adoptions. In order to donate or adopt a turtle or if interested in volunteering please go to www.watamuturtlewatch.com
If you are in or visiting Kenya, and are interested in visiting our rehabilitation centre to see all the good work that we do, please come see us at plot 203, Watamu, or visit the Marine Centre next to Watamu Supermarket.
Please note that our phone number has now changed to +254 (0) 42 2332118