The Sea Life Park of Hawaii has been trying to help the endangered Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle population by releasing hatchings from artificial nest sites back into the ocean. In 1989, a few hatchlings were held back and raised at various locations across the United States and Canada. When the turtles upper shell reached 40cm or greater in length, they were released into the ocean. On the Fourth of July, turtles who have grown large enough are released at the Beach of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel in what is called “Turtle Independence Day.” The hotel even has several young turtles in their fish ponds where they can mature, protected from predators.
Pictured below is a Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle basking on the beach at the Mauna Lani Hotel’s beach. Maybe it’s one of the graduates. Enjoy!
-Balazs, G. et al, ‘Adaptation of Captive-reared Green Sea Turtles Released Into Hawaiian Coastal Foraging Habitats, 1990-1999’, Proceedings of the Twentieth Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation, February 29-March 4, 2000, Orlando, Florida. NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-SEFSC-477:187-189.