Something told me, late last night, to post my turtle pictures.
And today I wake up to discover that today is WORLD TURTLE DAY!!
It is now turtle egg laying season along Israel's Mediterranean coast, but sadly, this sea turtle didn't make it.
My town's touring group visited here in March and we saw three dead ones.
Each year about 300 sea turtles are washed up onto Israeli beaches after being harmed by marine waste, fishing nets, hooks, boat motors, etc.
Now, during the spring and summer laying season many volunteers and park rangers come to the beaches to assist and protect the endangered sea turtles when they come ashore and later, when the hatchlings hatch from the eggs.
The Israel Sea Turtle Rescue Center does good work.
You can see their videos and photos on Facebook at המרכז להצלת צבי הים .
When the coast was less built up, less urbanized, the females would swim ashore, lay their eggs in a sandy nest, and immediately return to the water by following the moon's reflected light on the sea.
But the beach we visited is close to the big Arab town of Jisr az-Zarqa.
The turtles now often get confused and turn instead toward the light of the town and lose their way.
That's why volunteers are needed.
UPDATE May 23:
See also photos, video, and info about Israel's turtle rehab center:
And more information from this good article:
Under cover of darkness in May and June, female sea turtles make their way from the waters of Israel’s Mediterranean beaches to the seashore, where they dig nests and lay dozens of eggs. In August, the hatchlings start cracking their way out of their shells, and begin a perilous trek to the relative safety of the water.
Israel is home to loggerhead, leatherback, green and softshell turtles – all endangered due to decades of hunting, pollution, manmade dangers and habitat disturbances caused by human activity. The newly laid eggs and the hatchlings are quite vulnerable to predators and the hot sun. Left on their own, only a few survive.
Since the mid-1980s, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority has been sending out rangers and volunteers in the summer months to move nests to protected beach reserves or incubation farms.
(Linking to Camera-Critters, ABC Wednesday and Our World Tuesday.)