The La Flor Wildlife Reserve includes this very special beach. At this small beach, tens of thousands of Olive Ridley turtles lay their eggs, only during certain days. Most of the turtles come at nighttime, but a few visit the beach during the day.
This Olive Ridley Turtle climbs the beach to lay her eggs.
The sea turtles are great swimmers but climbing the beach is a tough job. It can easily take half an hour before the turtle reaches the place where she will dig her nest, maybe one hundred meters up the beach.
Once the turtle reaches the designated spot, she will start digging a hole. Sometimes the Olive Ridley turtles come out of the ocean a month before laying their eggs, just to explore the area and find a place to lay her eggs. When she returns, she will go to the exact same spot she selected before.
Once the hole is deep enough, the turtle will start laying her eggs.
The female turtle will deposit about 90 eggs (larger, older turtles will deposit more eggs, sometimes up to 120). The small eggs are white and have a soft shell. They look like ping-pong balls. After all the eggs are laid, the turtle will cover the hole with her flippers. Once the nest is covered, she will also use her flippers and her body to erase signs of the nest .
The turtles are exhausted when they have laid their eggs, but nevertheless they will right away crawl back to the ocean. Slowly you will see this marine reptile disappear in the ocean.
Out of all the baby turtles that come out of the eggs, maybe one in one hundred will return to La Flor as an adult turtle, repeating the process that is occurring for millions of years.
Once above the sand, the baby turtles will head for the ocean. This will take some time, and it is a dangerous start in the turtles' life. Vultures, coyotes, dogs, and many other animals will eat them on their way to the water. Once in the water, big fish await them in the bay. In addition, humans pose another threat to the turtles. Not only are many eggs dug up by people for consumption, city lights also confuse the baby turtles and make them head the wrong way. Fortunately, there is not much unnatural light around La Flor.
When the Olive Ridley turtles come to the beach in vast numbers to lay their eggs, many eggs will be dug up to the surface, because they sometimes dig a hole on the same place as another turtle. Vultures and other animals feed on the eggs.