This year’s nesting season in St. Kitts  is the slowest it has ever been in 11 years, which means I haven’t seen many nesting Leatherbacks. So, I finally got the opportunity to flipper tag my first sea turtle last week. It was much easier than I imagined- two reps of betadine and alcohol, a quick reading of the tag’s number, placing of the tag into the applicator, and a simple pinch through the thin area of the Leatherback’s leathery skin of the hind flipper. Now, all that’s left to learn is how to properly place pit tags and take cloacal samples.

Currently, there’s a juvenile Green sea turtle on my dining room table. Yes, I’m serious. We currently do not have another location to house him and I am responsible for his care until we move him to a larger enclosure before his release. He is approximately 9 months old (and we can’t tell its sex yet, I just refer to the juvenile as male) and he is absolutely precious. I change his water everyday and must obtain fresh sea water from Timothy Beach in order to do so. The looks on locals faces as I’m dragging a large 6-gallon bucket full of water out of the ocean … Priceless. I also feed him a diet consisting of romaine lettuce, green bell pepper, shrimp and fish twice a day. Greens are omnivorous but as they age eventually switch over to a much more herbivorous diet.

Also, this morning (Monday, June 3rd) I received a call from the director of The Sea Turtle Monitoring Networking, stating that a hatchling had been discovered by an employee of St. Kitts Masonry Products. I drove to pick the hatchling up and he is currently resting in an enclosure. We hope to release him tonight- it’s better to release a hatchling at night to avoid as many predators as possible.

I’ve always wanted to interact with a hatchling and, well, it has finally happened. It’s not a Leatherback but I am not complaining. I cannot wait to watch him crawl out to the water’s edge tonight. That’s just another dream of mine.

Even though I am receiving little interaction with nesting Leatherback ladies, I feel as if I am still learning through many other sources. The director, Dr. Stewart, is more than willing to answer any  questions I have and has taught me a good amount of information on her recent studies. Not to mention, personal growth.

UPDATE: The wee little hatchling successfully made it to the ocean! I wish him/her the best of luck, haha.


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