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Saturday, August 4, 2012

NEST #9!!!!

Call came in around 9:45, Friday evening.  Alexandra saw a huge sea turtle coming out of the water while walking on the beach.  She called NMB Police, who called the NMS Sea Turtle Patrol.  Of course, we dropped everything and raced to the scene.  An Officer from NMB was already on site, keeping all interested spectators away from the turtle, making people turn off lights, making sure they were not taking pictures and making sure they stayed back and behind the turtle.  We watched in awe as she completed her nesting process, alternately using her hind flippers and shifting her body to position each flipper over the eggs as she covered the eggs with sand.  She then packed down the sand, again using her hind flippers and bouncing slightly up and down.  Then, using her front flippers, sand was thrown high up into the air to hide the egg chamber.  Finally she slowly turned and headed back into the ocean, pausing one last time as she entered the water, she raised her massive head as if to say good-bye babies and quickly disappeared into the water.

Nesting area was quickly marked and protected, Volunteers were back by Sunrise to process the nest.

Early the next morning,  the only evidence of her visit is a depression in the sand with tracks leading to the water.

She was a very neat nester, small body pit, turning back over the nest as she left, actually crawling back over her incoming crawl.

Except for a small incoming crawl near the body pit, only one crawl was visible on the beach.

Eggs were quickly found.

One egg taken for the DNA Study.  NMB Visitor, Samuel was excited and came down still in his PJ's to see the eggs.

Brandi was excited to see the nest and eggs!

Carleigh was super excited to see and feel the DNA Egg

BreeLee and Judy just joined the patrol, they saw her nesting and were back early the next morning to help work the nest. 

Those eggs are amazing.  Everyone has the same reaction when they see and feel the one egg taken for the DNA study. 

BreeLee and Carleigh helped process the DNA egg.

Safe and secure, the DNA Sample is ready.

Nest was relocated from the middle of a busy beach.

It was a late night and a very early morning for many of the NMB Volunteers.  But so, so rewarding!!!

Thank you ALL.  It is always such a thrilling experience to see such a beautiful creature as she lays her eggs.  

A huge thanks to the NMB Police.  One turtle was chased off our beaches earlier in the summer by over anxious spectators taking pictures and shining lights.  The two officers did a fantastic job making sure this did not happen to this turtle.

And a big thanks to all who watched this turtle lay her eggs, giving her the respect she so well deserves so she could complete the process in the dark and in peace.

NMB Nest #9!!!

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