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  • Writer's pictureCari Mackey

Trying to assist the animals of Panama and the Sea Turtles that are washing up dead on our shores.

Updated: Apr 24, 2023

Hatching at the size of a dollar coin out of a nest of over 100 eggs the size of ping pong balls, a small stick is quite an obstacle to this cute little Olive Ridley Sea Turtle. A human foot print is like descending into and out of the top of a volcano as she makes her way to the ocean to live her life of 100 years.

After recording data from the nest of hatchlings to be entered into a global database, the hatchlings are gently placed at the top of a runway drawn in the sand. It seems like it would be easier just to release them straight into the water but they need this distance to fire up their muscle synapses to swim through the breaking surf and geolocate themselves to the beach where they hatched so they can return in the future to lay their eggs.

There aren't many beings on this beautiful planet who get to live that long and Sea Turtles are no exception. Only 1 in a 1,000 will make it to maturity so we try to give them every advantage we can during their first vulnerable waddles on the sand.

Since September this area of the Pacific has found itself in crisis mode. Hundreds of adult Sea Turtles as well as dolphins and a whale have washed up on shore dead of unknown causes.

Both the Ministry of Environment and Oceans have been alerted however, with limited resources they have not yet been able to figure out the cause of this mass casualty.

It's so easy to get mad and frustrated in situations like this especially with critically endangered species when you know that every animal lost tips the scales faster and closer to extinction. It takes a lot of people working together to solve these problems that we have caused.

We are doing what we can to help but feel so helpless in times like this. We are in touch daily with the veterinarians and directors of these programs as well as FUNDAT - our local Turtle Conservation Group on a daily basis but it feels like nothing is changing.

This dolphin and her small baby washed up on shore a week ago. This was a key moment where a fast response was critical in getting her to a lab to perform a necropsy to determine what is happening. But nobody came.

My patience ended. So, we were given approval by a government vet to disinter her to take her to the lab which is hours away from here. As you will see in the video (click the image on the right), it was too late. She was too decomposed. Opportunity lost. Damnit!

This week we are going to go out on the water in search of more animals in hopes to find one that can be taken for a necropsy.

We aren't going to stop there though. You have followed us as we have cared for several wild animals like Soldier,Melikki, Oodie's, and others with our big hearts but again, limited resources and heartbreaking losses, we are in the process of creating a wildlife clinic: Melikki's Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Clinic. It will be the first and only clinic of its kind in Panama that is specifically focused on Primates with the goal to rescue, rehabilitate, and release.

We told you we are going to act. We are going to make a difference. This is just the beginning of something huge and now you are now a part of it. We need your support. Support manifests in many ways and it takes the collaborative efforts of everyone. Of course we need funding but there will be opportunities to volunteer, work, research, learn, and love. Please, if you know anyone that can help; companies, organizations, individuals, universities, grant programs, anyone, please respond to this email and let me know. We are busy working to make this happen and soon you will be able to come visit and see for yourself!

Your Friends in Morrillo, Cari and Ryan Mackey Owners and Hosts Morrillo Beach Eco Resort Sea Turtle Conservation Tip: Report any dead, stranded, or struggling turtles to MiAmbiente: #311. Jacinto from FUNDAT inspiring the youth of our town to be a part of the solution:

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