Tortuguero Turtle Trip
Trip Start Jun 30, 2011
14Trip End Jul 24, 2011
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We went from Monteverde to Tortuguero to visit the sea turtle rescue projects. The first picture shows Ms. Radinsky when we are about to get on the boat to Tortuguero. The only way to get there is by taking a one and one-half hour boat ride. She looks very happy. While we were waiting, though, we saw a rhinoceros beetle which is in the second picture. The beetle was very, very big. Ms. Radinsky was a little scared, at first. I had to promise to sit on the outside of the boat and protect her from crocodiles. We saw a big crocodile during the first five minutes of the trip! Now we were both scared, but finally arrived in Tortuguero, which is in the middle of the rain forest next to the Caribbean Sea. Look on the map to see where we were.
We immediately saw many beautiful birds
Early in the morning, though, we were woken up again by more noise. This time it was from a group of howler monkeys. Remember, they make a noise that sounds like a dog and a lion together. Ask Ms. Radinsky to make the noise when she sees you again. The monkeys were making a lot of noise, more noise than if the whole class yelled at the same time. (Please never do that to Ms. Radinsky.) I think they were having a big argument. A little later they quieted down, perhaps when the mother reminded them we were sleeping. (I am just kidding, or jk).
We spent the morning walking the trails of Tortuguero and saw many animals: crabs, iguanas, basilisk lizards (remember the lizard that runs on top of the water that some people call the Jesus Christ lizard?), sloths (Ms. Radinsky's favorite), tarantula spiders and beautiful butterflies including the blue morpho butterfly
In the afternoon we went to the village of Tortuguero. Mr. Fernando was our guide. He is very smart and loves nature. He showed us leaf cutter ants and the soldier ants that protect them. Did you know the queen of the leaf cutter ants lives for fifteen years??!! The village of Tortuguero is pretty and the people work hard to protect the turtles that swim to the shore and lay their eggs on the beach.
At night we went to see a turtle come to the beach and lay her eggs. We had to wait a long time for the turtle to come. Our guide, Mr. Cloyd told us many stories about the village and the turtles. Finally, a Green Sea Turtle swam ashore. Her shell is grey and brown but inside she is green, which is why she is called a Green Sea Turtle.
She walked up the beach and found her spot to lay the eggs. First she dug a big wide hole. In the big hole she then dug a small hole, about three feet deep. In this hole she began laying her eggs. They are a little bigger than ping pong balls and are very white and slimy. She laid about 100 eggs!!!
After she was done laying her eggs, she buried them and then made 'camouflage’ to hide them
Unfortunately, we could not take pictures of the mother turtle laying the eggs. The light from the camera bothers the mother and she may not lay the eggs. This shows the Costa Rican people are very serious about nature and work very hard to protect the animals and the rain forest. We should do the same thing in Chicago, also. Ms. Radinsky will teach you ways to do this when you return to school. I also promise to visit the school and you can ask me questions about the trip.