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Rare Nest of Sea Turtle Hatchlings Rescued on the Big Island

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A rare nest of Olive Ridley sea turtles was discovered by a Hawaiian family and then they told experts. The hatchlings are not normally known to be in the area.

Rare Nest of Hatchlings Stuck in Rocks and Driftwood Debris

About seven hatchlings in rocks and driftwood debris on a beach. They were found by Jeremy, Jen, and Kian Van Arkel on February 3rd.

The University of Hawaii at Hilo Marine Option Program Sea Turtle Response hotline and leading team coordinator Jen Sims knew. The family was in awe at the find.

Under the United States Endangered Species Act, Olive Ridley Sea Turtles are a threatened species.

Typically nesting between May and November, the only sea turtle species nesting on the Big Island is the hawksbill variety. In fact, between May and August, most green sea turtles travel to the northwest Hawaiian Islands to lay eggs.

Uncertainty About the Olive Ridley Nest of Turtles

“I had to admit I didn’t know if they were Olive Ridleys, because I’ve never seen an Olive Ridley nest or hatchlings before,” Sims said. “So, therefore, when I saw the photos, I knew they didn’t look right.”

The former director of the Hawaii Island Hawksbill Project, Lauren Kurpita, had, in fact, was advising the Van Arkel family to carefully move the hatchlings closer to the water.

Hours utilized by the family to ensure the safety of the turtles. They combined through the debris where they located stranded hatchlings before moving them further down the beach.

About 20 young turtles which were hatchlings were helping by the Van Arkels. They appeared from the nest.

Nearly three hours later, Kurpita arrived and excavated the next. She unearthed three dozen more turtles trapped by rocks.

The Olive Ridley sea turtles inhabit Hawaiian water, Sims said most in the Pacific Ocean nest in Central America are with females. In fact, solitary nesting events are rare.

“What is really unusual is the fact that this turtle nested in Hawaii instead of its normal nesting stop,” Sims said. “We don’t see it here.”

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