A number of sea turtle hatchlings found their way to the open sea as released by the Banyan Tree Bintan Resort and Hotel of Riau Islands at Lagoi Beach, Bintan witnessed by hundreds of foreign tourists on Sunday evening.
"This campaign was conducted to preserve the ecosystem balance and to save the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) from extinction," the Corporate Social Responsibility Manager of Banyan Tree Bintan Resort and Hotel, Henry Ali Singer said here Monday.
"There were still 220 sea turtle eggs estimated to hatch in the mid-October 2010 in the hatchery," he said.
The last four months, banyan Tree Bintan had released 364 sea turtle hatchlings originated from eggs collected from Panjang Beach, Lagoi tourism spot in the nesting time in March-September, he said.
The Manager of Banyan Tree Bintan, Herman Puspa released the first hatchling to the sea witnessed by hundreds of enthusiastic foreign tourists, especially children.
The tourists documented the struggle of the hatchlings to reach the open sea from the shoreline.
The crowd was getting louder to encourage the hatchlings to reach the sea creating a blithe atmosphere in the campaign.
"The tourists were pleased to witness this rare moment. It was the first experience for most of the tourists, especially kids, and they will show their documentations of the rare occasion to their relatives and friends back in their countries," Henry said.
Each of the hatchling weigh around 15 gram at the day it born, much lighter than the egg itself that weigh 25 gram, he said, adding that the turtle eggs were buried 50 cm deep in sand until they hatch 50-60 days afterward.
A sea turtle could lay 150 eggs at a time in the nesting time, but it takes around 30 years and even decades for sea turtle to reach sexual maturity, he said.
According to the research, only one percent of the hatchlings could survive in the ocean, he said.
However, the management relocated the sea turtle eggs from the natural nesting ground to secure them from human threat as some people consume the eggs and sell them in the market.
"Some animals such as wild hogs and monitor lizards like to eat sea turtles," he said