Over 100 baby turtles have hatched on a Singapore beach before being released into the sea, authorities said Tuesday, in a boost for the critically endangered creatures. A nest of Hawksbill turtle eggs was discovered in November on Sentosa, a popular resort island south of Singapore’s main island. A barrier was erected to keep the nest safe from predators, and officials carried out regular checks, said Sentosa Development Corporation, which manages the island.
On Friday 106 eggs hatched and, after officials carried out tests, the baby turtles were sent off scurrying down the beach and into the sea. It was the third time that Hawksbill turtle eggs had hatched on Singapore’s beaches since August and the first time in eight years on Sentosa, the Straits Times newspaper reported.
Hawksbills get their names from their narrow pointed beaks and are found throughout the world’s tropical oceans, mainly around coral reefs. They are threatened by damage to their natural habitats by pollution and coastal developments, and are also targeted by poachers.
Their body parts are used to make turtle soup and shells are crushed into powder for use in jelly dessert. The Hawksbill shell is also used to make products like combs and ornamental hairpins.