Coming home: rare turtle returns to Oman after over 20 years

Oman Thursday 29/August/2019 15:42 PM
By: Times News Service
Coming home: rare turtle returns to Oman after over 20 years

Muscat: A green turtle that left Oman over two decades ago came back to Oman recently, where it was found again by the Omani Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs.

A statement by the ministry read: "After 21 years, a green turtle has returned to the shores of Oman to nest at Ras Al Hadd, South Al Sharqiyah.

"This turtle was registered for the first time in 1998 by the ministry's employees," the statement added.

A turtle watcher told Times of Oman: "One of the idiosyncrasies about turtles is that if they lay eggs in a certain place, they are drawn to return there so that they can lay eggs at the same shore again."

The Ministry of Tourism also said that turtles usually come back to lay their eggs at the same place where they themselves were born.

In a statement, the ministry said: "The beaches extending from Ras Al Hadd to Masirah Island in governorate of South Al Sharqiyah South are considered a turtle reserve, including the green turtle, which is a rare turtle that returns every year to lay its eggs on the same beach where it was born.

"At night, these turtles carrying their heavy shells on their backs, drag themselves out of the water to the beach, strenuously and with great difficulty, dig a hole in the sand using the tips of their paws so as to bury their eggs and then return to the sea

"After about 55 days, the eggs hatch and baby turtles come out to start the most dangerous journey of their lives, trying to avoid hungry foxes, crabs and birds and push their way towards the sea where they can find safety in the waters. Watching the turtles’ night dash to the sea is among the most popular tourist activities in Oman," the statement added.