We were called by the Bagus Place resort manager to come and attend to a sick young Hawksbill turtle that was found floating near their jetty. The turtle was actually first spotted by some guest who had previously been volunteers here at JTP.
The turtle was floating with a large amount of algae on it, meaning it had been inactive for some time already, often in these cases there is a buoyancy issue with the turtle so they cannot dive for food, and become fatigued and starved.
We referred to turtle care manuals, and to the Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia’s Prof Eng Chan, and Ms Pelf for advice. After feeding the turtle with a squid smoothie and re-hydrating water for almost a week and seeing no improvement in health, we checked again with TCS about the best next step. We decided it best to release the poor turtle back into deep water about 2k from the shore, where if it survives it will be properly located in the off-shore currents.
Flash cameras can scare the nesting mother turtles very easily, and the turtle nesting almost always occurs at night-time here so it is always a challenge to get a good photo of the turtle magic happening on the dark beach! We often try using red colored lights to illuminate the turtles for a photo but it doesnt work all that well.
Meaning Infrared light is even more invisible to turtles (and to people). So we have been donated an IR motion camera, usually used for photo-trapping animals, and here are the results from a couple of the resent nestings on the local beach here in Juara!
* Please Note* The flash from this camera is totally invisible which is the only reason we are able to use it without disturbing the turtle. Also we are in close proximity/ handling the turtle only because we are experienced in the how and when to do it without disturbing the turtle! Aka.. please don’t try this at home thank you!
We started construction for Jo’s new tank this past March 2014, and she just moved in on December 5th 2014.
Jo was born here from the hatchery in 2006, the same year we first got involved with the sea turtle conservation in Juara. She has shifted homes a few time over the years as she has grown and as JTP has moved around.
Most recently we tried to have her sent to an aquarium to be taken care of for the rest of her life, potentially around another 100 yrs! Since those plans have not worked out yet, we built this tank to meet her growing needs for space and water depth.
It is beautiful to see her swimming in so many new dimensions, and it is so clear how much all the space is needed for sea turtles to live healthy, and it is really great to see JO spread her fins and swim!
We’d like to offer a big thank you to everyone who has helped make this tank possible, all the volunteers and school groups who worked and dug! Little Planet and Riverview for their support and physical help, UWCSEA and the Tioman Turtles Global Concerns group for all their fundraising and support over the years, WaterCo for the pump and filtration system, Jotun for the high quality tank coating, and ProTech UV filter systems for the UV filter unit!
We are just waiting for a few more nests to hatch here but the season is pretty much over. You can still come to volunteer, however please have the correct expectations of no nesting sea turtles or babies hatching! There are some clean up and maintenance projects (nothing specific right now, we do it day by day!) also helping with awareness turtle talks and taking care of Jo. So, basically, if you don’t mind being maintenance-free then please still send us an email.. thanks!