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It’s turtle nesting season here in the Dominican Republic, all the way until November, and we here at Casa de Campo Living want to take you behind the scenes. Come along!
OK, here’s the thing. We’re going to tell you about turtle nesting season. Promise. But, before we do that, real quick, can we just all pause for a second, this is important, and just look at that baby turtle up there. I mean, look at IT, IT’S SO TINY AND CUTE AND IT FITS SO COZILY IN THAT HAND AND IT’S ALL COVERED IN SAND AND IT LOOKS LIKE IT’S HAVING A NAP AND- All right, all right, I promised I’d keep my composure, I’m sorry. It is a cute little thing though. There. Much better. Turtle nesting season. Right.
That teensy lil’ thing up there is a baby Hawksbill turtle, one of many sea turtle species that nest and are born on the Dominican Republic’s beaches, with other species, such as Leatherback turtles.
One of the beaches that receives turtle migrations like this is Casa de Campo’s very own Minitas Beach! In fact, CDCLiving’s very own Rebecca Hughes witnessed an extremely rare yet delightful occurrence – a Hawksbill turtle laying its eggs at Minitas and returning to the ocean – back in 2012. More information about that here, if you’re interested. Warning: There are pictures in that article that may trigger powerful cute-reactions such as the one above, be very careful.
Of course, it’s not all cuteness and fun and games here – these turtle species are actually critically endangered, and the Dominican government takes strict measures so as to ensure their protection at beaches across the country where these turtle species are known to migrate and lay their young ones’ eggs. If you see one of these occurrences, yes, it’s all well and good to admire a miracle of nature, but be sure to contact proper authorities and make sure those cute little guys get properly protected.
A much bigger nesting area than Minitas is Saona Island, where huge numbers of turtles lay even more huge quantities of eggs. The population of the island also strives to protect the unborn turtles, with heartwarming stories coming out of it all, like that of Negro, the ex-turtle fisherman who now dedicates himself to protecting the little guys and ensuring many more get out to sea.
The turtle nesting season makes for a beautiful occasion that very few people get to witness, and, if we’re careful, it’ll be one people get to experience for many generations to come.
If you want to go on an excursion to Saona island to see the turtles, contact Sara of the Bayahibe Fishing Center [(829) 914-4162], she can even arrange an overnight visit to see the babies released.