The soft sandy beach glows in the moon light. Suddenly something washes ashore. Slowly it pulls itself onto the beach and begins to crawl. With two flipper-like projections, it pulls itself towards the tree line. It is a sea turtle, visiting its birthplace to lay the eggs.
All of a sudden the quietness of the night is disturbed by a group of men. They rush towards the reptile and turns it over. The turtle’s strong flippers rendered useless, the poachers cut open its belly. With tears streaming out of its marble black eyes, it flaps its flippers in pain, as the poachers clean out its internal organs.
The meat, shell, eggs and other parts of the turtle are harvested. The poachers have killed not just a single life, but a reptile that lived the earth long before the birth of man, along with its young. Poaching for turtles has almost led its population to the brink of extinction.
With its grand beaches and thriving marine life, Maldives provides an optimum environment for turtles to breed and feed. Sea turtles visit Maldives for its variety of seaweeds, which are a delicacy for sea turtles.
Turtles can take about 10 to 15 years to reach breeding age, and in many cases they breed every few years rather than annually. Sea turtles lay their eggs on dry, sandy beaches and immature sea turtles are left to learn and survive among the powerful predators. While crabs and sharks are among their most common predators, birds also feed on hatchlings. More....