Testimonial from Groom, Jonathan
I have so many amazing memories from the trip - nearly standing on a Fer-de-lance, a Boa Constrictor in the shower block, watching hummingbirds feed in the flowers around base, the gruelling 15-mile Jag walk along the beach, sitting on the beach watching the incredible sunrise and much more.
A particularly interesting memory was when myself and two volunteers found a lost Green Turtle one morning that had somehow gone the wrong way and ended up some distance from the beach. They are big, heavy animals and there was no way the three of us could physically move it. It was still moving and we managed to turn it in the right direction and try and direct it back towards the beach. Unfortunately, we then disturbed a wasp nest and had to retreat back to base.
Later that day one of the afternoon survey teams found what we can only presume was the same turtle, some half a mile or so away, and still some way from the beach. It was now severely exhausted and de-hydrated. Runners came back to base and me and a few others came out to help. We bought a couple of hammocks and using them as makeshift slings managed to actually lift the turtle. It took four of us to do it and it was quite the effort, particularly with me still having a sore head from an earlier wasp sting! Nevertheless, we pushed on and managed to get the turtle down into the surf and the taste and feel of the cool salt water seemed to revive her one last time and she managed to haul herself into the sea and disappeared under the waves. We did tag and measure her whilst we had the opportunity, partly for the biometric information, and partly because there was a chance that we might find her again one night coming ashore to nest again. The more sentimental of the group named her Suerte (Luck in Spanish), but we never saw her again to be able to confirm that she survived her ordeal. Still, there is always the chance that in coming years, a survey team may come across her, coming to nest again. I hope so.
- Groom, Jonathan