Ecotourism and Leatherback turtles in Suriname

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Tortue luth A few years ago, I went to Suriname (formerly Dutch Guiana before the independence), it is a country situated in South America. Its density is the lowest of America. I decided to participate in an adventure which meant a lot to me for several years. To visit the leatherback sea turtle nesting on the beach. Via a local agency, I join a tour of ecotourism the purpose of which was to make discover the region but especially the leatherback sea turtle . Here I am embarked on a canoe for 45 min of crossing to go to the discovery of these turtles. Need to put back the story in its context to be able to appreciated this particular moment. It is around 3 am in the morning, it is dark as nowhere else because the departure is made in the heart of the forest where we spent the 1st night in a rudimentary eco-lodge where as bed, it was hammocks suspended between 2 pylons which are part of the same structure of a wooden and form a hut without walls. Just the carrying, the roof and in the faults, the hammocks. And huge mosquitoes, when to crush them to you you have the impression to crush a fly every time. Something unheard of. To navigate in the middle of the night on a canoe in the middle of the river under a starry night and as light just the moon for you to shine has nothing glamorous but get closer rather to the horror movie because of its surroundings, not a noise, and just man’s rustles, the leaves which collide and a light hissing wind. Near our meeting place, and to crown it all, we push knock down leatherback sea turtle in full swimming towards the beach. A deaf noise breaks this alarming silence and increases the stress of this trip. But here we are, stealthily I advance on the place of laying,eggs. And there, it is just magnificent and moving. These majestic leatherback sea turtle in the water are so awkward on the ground. I realize at this moment all the measure of the difficulty of this exercise. In the water, the weight is easy to deal with but once on earth and besides on the beach to move while we weight near 600kg, that becomes an impossible exercise. But the nature makes what it has to make, and the turtle once arrived at its place of laying,eggs), digging a relatively deep hole, to put down its eggs there. To hear this breath, these groans, well make me understand that it is no game but that it is the cycle of the life that set off. It is just moving, a souvenir to engrave for ever. Once the layings were ended, this enormous turtle resumes the way of the beach to return to the water. Its “children” are then delivered to them and the birth will append within sixty days. I takes back my canoe with our guide, and not a noise on the way back. No words,we were so much favored that to have seen such a thing as we have difficulty in realizing it. Since then, I decided that for our children, will go to see the animals in their natural environment and no more in zoos or aquariums.

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