Aug. 9 this year wasn't just a big day for many Singaporeans -- it was a big day for some turtles too.
A day for celebration
On Singapore's 54th birthday, a batch of Hawksbill turtles entered the world.
44 of these critically endangered turtles hatched on Sisters' Island Marine Park, where Singapore's first Turtle Hatchery is located.
The Small Sister's Island where the hatchery is at is restricted, and visitors must acquire special permits before visiting.
The hatchery, maintained by NParks, provides a conducive environment for turtles to hatch and make it safely back to sea.
If nests are found in dangerous areas with high human traffic, the eggs will be relocated to the hatchery as well.
You can watch a cute video by NParks of the small hatchlings scuttling towards the sea here:
Adult Hawksbill turtles visit regularly
Hawksbill turtles have been spotted on Singapore shores before.
These critically endangered turtles inhabit tropical waters, and are regularly sighted along the Singapore Strait.
Mother turtles have also been sighted coming ashore to East Coast Park to nest and lay their eggs.
Hawksbill turtles have a lifespan of 30 to 50 years—however their survival rate is extremely low, and only one in a thousand hatchlings make it to adulthood.
Hopefully, some of these baby turtles will visit our shores as adults in a few decades' time.
What to do if you encounter a nesting turtle
According to NParks:
- Keep your distance from the turtle and her eggs.
- Don't shine lights at the turtle or use flash photography.
- Keep clear of turtle tracks.
- Call NParks at 1800-4717300.
Top photo courtesy of Bernard Photojournals