A Turtle's Tale
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa is renowned for the special attention it gives to its youngest guests … even those with shells and flippers. Undoubtedly the island’s cutest residents, the little turtles in the Marine Discovery Centre’s turtle pools are no strangers to Four Seasons inimitable care. They’re here thanks to the Resort’s Maldivian Sea Turtle Conservation Program (jointly established with Four Seasons Resort Landaa Giraavaru), which works with island communities across the Maldives to monitor and protect Maldivian sea turtles.
The Maldives is home to five of the world’s seven species of sea turtles, including the ‘endangered’ green and ‘critically endangered’ hawksbill turtles. Their dwindling numbers and continual threats from human actions (such as ‘ghost’ fishing nets and black-market egg and meat trade) is a cause very close to our hearts.
Kuda Huraa’s assisted-rearing ‘Head Start’ programme gives a lucky few hatchling, born in protected nests, more of a fighting chance when released back into the wild. Housed in our specially built pools they are regularly cleaned, weighed, measured and monitored. Guests can get involved in all these daily activities, including feeding them their daily diet of squid, lobster and fish eggs – only the best for our ‘babies’!
Given the odds that fewer than one in 1000 turtle hatchlings will survive to maturity in the wild, the Head Start programme gives them a massive advantage when they are returned to the sea around a year later, measuring about 30cm and weighing approximately 4kg – too big to be a snack for the predators that hunt them as babies. Some of the hatchlings have been released with satellite tags to help track their movements (and aid with ongoing research into habitat use, migration routes, foraging grounds and rehabilitation initiatives). You can follow their oceanic journeys at www.marinesavers.com.