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Watch: 100 turtles hatch at Ġnejna, right on cue

Hatchlings first response, upon emerging from eggs, is to swim towards light

Update 5 at 11.20pm

A total of 100 turtles hatched and waddled down to the sea at Ġnejna Bay on Wednesday night, right on cue.

The eggs were laid by a loggerhead turtle on June 25.

Nature Trust – FEE Malta (NTM) and volunteers who were present on site ensured the hatchlings got safely to the water’s edge and immediately informed the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) as soon as it was clear that the moment had come.

Hatchlings are naturally attracted to moon light shining on the sea surface and their first response, upon emerging from the eggs, is to swim towards light. In view of this, ERA kickstarted its planned response to reduce disturbance from artificial light or any physical barriers at the bay so as to ensure that the hatchlings’ first journey was a successful one.

This was the second time that a turtle had laid eggs on a Maltese beach in recent history. In 2016, a turtle had laid eggs at Golden Bay, with 66 turtles hatched after 56 days of incubation as environmentalists celebrated in silence.

The last recorded nesting at Ġnejna Bay dates back to 2012. Back then, a summer storm was blamed for the eggs' failure to hatch. In fact, last Monday sandbags were laid around the site to prevent a rainwater stream from removing the sand and exposing the nest.

Video: Sarah CarabottVideo: Sarah Carabott

 

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