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Olive ridley sea turtles released in Davao City

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By Yas D. Ocampo

FREE – Sea turtle hatchlings head out to sea from the shores of Cleanenergy Park, a known turtle sanctuary in Punta Dumalag, Davao City. The park, managed by Aboitiz Foundation and Davao Light, also serves as a venue to educate the public on environmental awareness. (Keith Bacongco)

FREE – Sea turtle hatchlings head out to sea from the shores of Cleanenergy Park, a known turtle sanctuary in Punta Dumalag, Davao City. The park, managed by Aboitiz Foundation and Davao Light, also serves as a venue to educate the public on environmental awareness. (Keith Bacongco)

Davao City – Volunteers from Barangay Bucana, formally known only as Barangay 76A here, rejoiced with the hatching of 79 olive ridley sea turtle hatchlings Mondaymorning.

Journalists and civilians witnessed the release of the tiny turtles at the shore of the Aboitiz Cleanergy Park Monday afternoon.

The hatchlings made their way to the shore after being released in batches by caretakers of the Aboitiz facility in Punta Dumalag, Matina Aplaya.

Only around three percent of each batch of hatchlings will make it into full adulthood according to experts during the briefings held prior to the release of the turtles.

The community, located a few kilometers from the peninsular shores of MatinaAplaya, expressed its concern about future developments in the area.

Most of the shores of Bucana area are either commercial ground or are hosts to informal settlements.

The barangay has asked the local government, through the city council, to help preserve the area, as it has become a nesting spot of the pawikans.

Barangay disaster risk response office volunteer Eric Monleon, in an interview, said that the 79 hatchlings were from the around 90 eggs that were found on the shores in the Times Beach area.

The hatchlings were found last April 10, Monleon said.

“Sayang ang area kasi pwede any time maitlugan sa pawikan (It’s a pity because, any time, the turtles could come back and nest here),” Monleon said.

Residents could also only hope that future planned developments, among them major government infrastructure such as a multibillion-peso coastal road project, would not affect the nesting grounds.

According to studies, female sea turtles return to their birthplaces to lay their eggs.

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