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Conservation and Environment in Mexico: Monthly Updates

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Conservation in Mexico - Monthly Update June 2009

Baby crocodile hatching

It is not too often that you can say "I saw a baby crocodile being born!" but last Friday at the crocodile farm we were lucky enough to see this happen. A couple of Acutus crocodiles had the first nest of the season to hatch out.

As soon as we arrived at the crocodile farm we found out that the local staff that stay at the farm during the night heard the baby crocodiles calling for help to hatch out. The Acutus female crocodile that guards this nest has a very particular condition as she lacks the right front leg which she lost in a fight. This makes it really difficult to unbury her hatchlings. Therefore we needed to help, with ropes and long sticks we came to immobilise the adults in order to be able to dig out the eggs!

Staff working with larger crocodiles

This was not an easy task. Apart from the fact that both specimens are around 4 meters, you have to consider that the female would be particularly aggressive as she would not let her babies go without a fight! Being extremely aggressive and rolling apparently without any other reason but anger, it took 3 of us staff to finally get her under control. Chuy the vet in charge, could then jump in to collect the precious eggs, 25 in total. When we had them in the bucket, the miracle! Amazingly the baby crocodiles started to come out of the egg shells! One by one, with the peculiar noises that they make that sound a bit like a duck, the little ones started to emerge!

Also this month the numbers of turtles that come out to the beach to lay their precious eggs have been increasing by the day. The patrols have increased and the hours are longer now. On a personal level, this will be my 5th high season, by this point one could think that the excitement is gone or that the task is monotonous or that it has at least reached the point of the ordinary. But although it is hard work, the contentment that comes after the eggs hatch is what makes this job as extraordinary as it is. The programme continues, turtles will come to lay eggs, and hopefully we will be around to carry on.Also this month the numbers of turtles that come out to the beach to lay their precious eggs have been increasing by the day. The patrols have increased and the hours are longer now. On a personal level, this will be my 5th high season, by this point one could think that the excitement is gone or that the task is monotonous or that it has at least reached the point of the ordinary. But although it is hard work, the contentment that comes after the eggs hatch is what makes this job as extraordinary as it is. The programme continues, turtles will come to lay eggs, and hopefully we will be around to carry on.

Oliver Garcia
Conservation Director
June 2009
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