October 18th, 2012, marked the fourth release from the seventh turtle nest for the season at Couples Resorts. By 5pm, nearly 100 guests were eagerly awaiting the live birth of the turtles on the shores of Sunset Beach at Couples Sans Souci Resort. They kept the spirit alive with drinks in hand as the liberation of the babies grew closer. Once the Grounds and Environmental Manager, Mr. Johnson, arrived and gave a brief introduction about the turtles, the crowd stood with ‘bated breathes’ as they waited for the emergence of the first turtle.
A guest named the first turtle, Melanie. As the guest encouraged Melanie to climb out and start her journey towards the ocean, one by one more baby sea turtles emerged from beneath the sand. Another guest named the smallest turtle of the bunch, Dave, and prodded him along the way as well. The loggerhead turtles found their way as best as they could by climbing over obstacles such as tree trunks and feet while racing to the ocean “to have a drink,” as one guest quoted. By the end of the evening the turtle release count stood at 131, the highest count thus far at Couples Resorts.
The loggerhead sea turtle is an oceanic turtle distributed throughout the world. The average loggerhead measures around 90 cm (35 in) long when fully grown, although larger specimens of up to 270 cm (110 in) have been discovered. The adult loggerhead sea turtle weighs approximately 135 kilograms (300 lb), with the largest specimens weighing in at more than 454 kilograms (1,000 lb).
It spends most of its life in saltwater, with females briefly coming ashore to lay eggs. The loggerhead sea turtle has a low reproductive rate; females lay an average of four egg clutches and then become quiescent, producing no eggs for two to three years. The loggerhead reaches sexual maturity within 17–33 years and has a lifespan of 47–67 years.
Happy, memorable moments were caught on camera by all that were present. However amidst all the happiness, the sad reality of preys in the water were realized as the guest who had named Melanie received news that the baby sea turtle had been eaten by a crab. Another guest joked, “Don’t always be the first to be out of the gates.” By the end of the night a good time was had by all and many happy memories were created once again with Couples Resorts.