Kuda Huraa Hatchlings – March
Hawksbill Turtle Hatchlings, EI.N009.038 to 041, hatched 9 March 2017, Kuda Huraa, Maldives
038 – Homer – 12g / 4.0cm (admission); 92g / 8.1cm (May);
039 – Banana – 12g / 4.0cm (admission); 85g / 7.5cm (May);
040 – George – 11g / 3.9cm (admission); 83g / 7.7cm (May);
041 – Quasimodo – 11g / 4.0cm (admission); 81g / 7.6cm (May);
These four newly hatched Hawksbill turtle hatchlings (EI.038-EI.041) were found on the beach by resort staff. Unfortunately, after excavation of the nest remains there were only 11 healthy hatchlings found in total, as most of the eggs had calcified within the first few days their development.
Seven of the hatchlings were released at first light the next morning, and the four smallest/weakest individuals have been admitted to our Head Start programme. We will care for these hatchlings until they grow to our target release size of 30cm/3+kg, when they will have a much better chance of survival in the wild.
Quasimodo is not like the other hatchlings, as he suffered facial disfigurement and the loss of one eye, most likely as a result of a natural defect during his development in the egg. We are pleased that, despite the loss of his upper beak, he is still able to open his mouth and take small pieces of food. We will be monitoring his condition closely to ensure he is able to feed with this disability. Unfortunately it is very hard to predict how this injury will affect his survival in the wild, without the use of a top beak he will find it challenging to scavenge for food hiding in the reef wall.
April 2017: Quasimodo continues to be very active around his pool and shows continued interest in food, but his beak appears to be increasingly mis-shapen.