Kamis, 14 Februari 2008

March of the Turtles

Bidding farewell to Nelly

This is rainy season and I miss Pulau Pramuka (PP). the last time i went there was sunny and warm. My friends and I had a vey good time there: swimming, boating, eating, basking, singing.

Like many other islands in the Thousand Islands (Kepulauan Seribu), PP's beach have been heavily transgressed by the sea water, leaving only about 500 m long unwalled, white sand beach on its 'back' side of the island. I think the island is about half the size of Ragunan Zoo.

And the most exciting part is the turtle farewell party. the island houses the best turtle sanctuary in Jakarta. Pak Saleh, the keeper, has been collecting turtle eggs around the islands for more than 2 decades. For his initiative and vision, he has been given various awards.

he led me to its garden that also serves as mangrove nursery. The sprouts are kept until they're 3 months old before transfered to the beach. Nearby, i saw a caged heaps of sand, the site of eggs hatching. Each mound was labeled and dated. Then i entered a building with many a blue container in which the turtles live.

my! i saw many hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) there. So amazing! they're cute! These reptiles swam here and there and they looked like angels when seen from above (their front feet would rest on the scaly back that they resembled shoulders). you should see it yourself. really.

When my friends later joined, Pak Slamet said we could release the three month old tukik (hatchlings) to the sea. he arranged them on the beach seawise. in seconds, they turned the direction instinctively and marched into the sea, to the calling of Mother Nature. so beautiful and moving.

i wanna go back there, soon as the rainy season ends.


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