Newly-hatched sea turtles wait their chance to be released into the ociean. (Photograph by: Mark Stachiew, Postmedia News)
It's not just tourists that like the beaches in Puerto Vallarta. Sea turtles love them, too.
Female turtles, specifically Olive Ridley sea turtles, come in droves every year to the Puerto Vallarta beaches, where they were born, to lay their own eggs, but there's a good chance that they weren't actually born there, but in a turtle egg nursery operated by the CasaMagna Marriott Hotel. Several other Puerto Vallarta hotels operate nurseries, but the Marriott's is the biggest.
For the past decade, the Marriott has hired biologists to patrol the Mexican city's beaches at night during the egg-laying season to collect the eggs so they can be safely incubated in a controlled environment that is safe from predators and human interference.
When the eggs hatch, the turtle hatchlings are released into the surf. What's great is that anyone can go to the beach in front of the hotel to participate in the event which takes place almost every night during the season from July to December. Each person in attendance gets to release their own little turtle into the sea and cheer it on in its effort to swim against the waves and head out to deep water where it can avoid being eaten by birds and fish.
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