Saturday, 26 January 2013

12th September- the night time drama!

My heart!

We must have been about 45mins into our walk and we came upon some turtle tracks. (We = me, Ivan & Jose) I of course I hadn’t a clue what they were saying but it seemed like something was up.

They noticed an empty nest and then some flattened vegetation heading into  the woods.
They started darting into and out of the woods, talking loudly and animatedly. After a while they started calling someone on their mobile. Jerry -the head guide and the Policia!....


I was kinda scared!

I had to trust them and followed them through the undergrowth and trees, being led by my adrenaline and my heart rate- pretty fast! They started to see tell tale tracks on the dirt road, like the scuffling of feet and something being dragged. Time passed, god knows how much. We walked and walked along the dirt road in the jungle.

Eventually the police arrived and they joined in the search. They all kept going in and out of the jungle, different areas, deeper and deeper. Check and double check. Some I followed, some I was told to stay on the road.
Aspere aqui!

I really didn’t want to be in the jungle since I was afraid of snakes and we were going through prime snake territory!

It was around 9:15pm when we found her, dragged deep into the jungle, past tangled branches and cut wire fences.

The beautiful creatures' body flipped upside down, struggling. I had no idea how long they could be out of the water for. Adult turtles can’t flip themselves over. That is how the poachers trap them. They had dragged  and carried her though the jungle and left her there until morning when they probably would have come back to kill her.

I felt like crying, right there next to her upturned body. I didn’t, adrenaline was still running and I held on to the amazing fact that we HAD found her and she may live.

The guides moved her and checked her for injury. I think she was nicked in a couple of places but nothing bad, but she was in such distress, struggling and flailing her flippers. At one point she stopped struggling and I was afraid that she was gone, but no she was still blinking and took the occasional deep breath, like a sigh of the greatest woe.
We waited for Jerry.

When he and Ilse arrived the action started again. 2 of the men started to drag her out of the jungle, slowly to the road. Jerry told Ilse and I to go wait on the road as it was dangerous in the jungle!

I knew it!!!!

Once they got to the road with her, 5 grown men carried her with great difficulty to the beach. Ilse and I lighting the way with our head torches and trying to stay out of the way of such immense effort by the guys.

She wiggled to get free, with her huge, strong, razor sharp flippers. A couple of the guys got some cuts on their hands and bled.
When we got her to the beach the guys flipped her over and after a short beat she made a dash for the sea. Our nosey dog companion was standing in front of her - nose to nose! A sight to see! Until he got scared and she got too fast for him and he ran away.
We watched her slide her beautiful sleek body to the sea, where the waves caught her and she was gone.

We sat and rested for a while, drinking water and exclaiming at the drama of it all. Mainly we watched the sea make great mountains with it waves, crashing with such ferociousness and turmoil.

Silently I went into my thoughts, my heart and breath calming my body, still hardly able to take in what we had just helped to do. A feeling of elation swept through me and tears welled up.
We continued on our patrol and on the way we saw 2 more green turtles, both who had turned and were heading back to the sea. So no nesting but 3 turtles in one night, how lucky am I!

What an INCREDIBLE night. xx

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