Blog Content & Website Design: Marney Wilde • Photographs by George Wilde

Acapulco, Mexico

One of our most enjoyable shore excursions took place here. We joined a ship tour to an area where a conservation group has a turtle rescue site. The local sea turtle is endangered because it has natural predators for the eggs, but of more concern is that the eggs and turtle meat are considered to be local delicacies. The turtle conservation groups in the area have been formed to educate the public about the need to preserve this ancient reptile (the species originated back in the Jurassic era) because among other reasons, the turtles eat jellyfish which few other sea animals can/will eat.

We traveled along the coastline, seeing a lot of the Acapulco scenery on the way, to a rescue/release site adjacent to a very nice hotel. After a "snack" and drink (it was more like a generous lunch) and a talk by the naturalist about the life cycle of the turtle, we were taken down to the shoreline and each given a baby turtle, born that morning and resting in a yellow bin, to release. It's important that the turtles have time to listen to the sea as this is how they get their bearings. When the naturalist believed that the turtle's orientation to the water's location was sufficient we set our turtles down on the sand and watched them begin the long walk across the sand down into the water. The conservation staff also showed us nearby areas where turtles are forming nests and laying eggs. The conservationists recover those eggs and raise them in artificial nests, safe from both human and animal/bird predators, until the eggs hatch. Sea turtles will return to the beach where they first entered the water to lay their own eggs, so ten years from now we can hope that at least some of the turtles that we released will return. The survival rate isn't high, but conservations believe that their efforts impove the rate by about 100-fold.

We would do this again if we're in Acapulco but might choose another tour vendor (I believe there are several) so that we could see the work of other conservation groups.



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Acapulco Port Area

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Turtle Release Area
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