Captive-bred turtle hatchlings begin life at sea

Fifty green turtle eggs bred in captivity at Cayman Turtle Centre were transplanted to Seven Mile Beach on 9 July, as part of the centre’s conservation programme to support wild population growth.

The eggs, laid on 13 May, were kept in incubation at the centre for 55 days before they were moved to their oceanfront location outside of the Christopher Columbus condos. On 21 July, 21 of the turtles hatched and made their way to the Caribbean Sea for the first time.

Wild turtle nesting season is currently under way, and residents have been warned by the Department of Environment not to disturb nesting females.

A typical nesting season begins in mid-to-late July and peaks in August.

Cayman’s first wild green turtle nest of the 2020 season was recorded on Seven Mile Beach in late May.

“Anybody that sees a turtle in the wild needs to really keep their distance from it,” said DoE Deputy Director Tim Austin in June.

“They are a protected species, very culturally important, and they’re easily disturbed, particularly if they are mating. Do not approach.”

Residents should also refrain from lighting unapproved bonfires on the beach, the DoE said, to prevent injury to turtle nests or hatchlings.

During the 2019 season, 675 turtle nests were recorded across all three islands.

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