Wednesday, 23 May 2012

A curious place in Terengganu

A strage picture.

While in Terengganu last week, I recalled that Rantau Abang was the place that people went to watch turtles laying eggs and coincidentally, I was staying in Tg Jara that is not far from Rantau Abang. Out of curiosity, I asked the receptionist if there are still turtles laying eggs in Terengganu. She replied, yes, but the turtles have moved to Kertih, where Petronas, the national oil company has a huge oil refineries and gas depot. No more turtles in Rantau Abang. I asked again why ? She replied that the place has become too commercialised and at times, there will probably be about 1000 people watching a turtle laying eggs. 1000 people ?? That is crazy!

At first thought, I was thinking maybe they lay eggs near at some beaches near to Kertih but to my astonishment when I was there, the turtles actually lay their eggs right at the beach at the back of the refineries. What is the reason that drove them to lay eggs there remain a mystery. Turtles need a dark and quiet place far away from human activities and lights to lay their eggs. The place is certainly not dark and quiet place but it is under WWF protection with a special hatchery. It is not open to public to watch the turtles laying eggs but with special connections, we were allowed a private trip.

Another common saying is that turtles cried while laying eggs because of pain or whatsoever. However, while there, we were told that the tears were not crying by the turtle but a way to cleanse the sands from their sensitive eyes. Due to this, we were not allowed to have photo of the turtles taken with flash. If flash were needed, the eyes of the turtles need to be covered with cloth. We were also told that turtles have bad hearings. What an interesting fact finding short trip!

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