SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise by Gary Davis – plumitapacifica.com

15 Feb

chapter 27 continued

But back to the turtle.

This time it was both dogs creating a stir and after about fifteen minutes Mario went out with his flashlight to see what the big fuss was all about.

Literally right in front of my house an Olive Ridley was laying her eggs.  What an incredible sight!  Mario came back to tell us immediately after he discovered her so Nidia, Mario, Kendi, my two tourist guests who had rented one of my apartments and I watched in amazement as she did her thing.

When the turtle selects the place she’s going to deposit her eggs she goes into kind of a trance like state.  At that point she is totally unprotected and vulnerable.  She simply begins to create a shallow depression in the dry sand and out come the eggs, about 100 of them on the average.  During that trance period, which lasts about forty five minutes to an hour, she appears to be totally oblivious to her surroundings.  You can touch her, shine your flashlight on her, take flash photos, move around her, talk, keep the dogs from attacking her and she is totally oblivious!

Then, after the last egg is out, she begins the process of covering them with the dry sand.  That is also a very laborious and time consuming process during which she remains in that trance like state.  But as she is scooping sand over the eggs with her flippers she is also moving in kind of a circular fashion.

Finally she completely disguises the whole area by moving sand in a way that replicates the random unevenness of all the dry sand around her nest and then begins the journey back to the sea.

What’s interesting is as she is scraping her way back to the ocean she leaves a very distinct trail.  It’s the trail that the poachers who are prowling the beach look for because it obviously leads to the vicinity of the nest.  They then rob the eggs, which are considered to be an aphrodisiac and have a black market value.

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