Friday, August 8, 2014

Buffetting : Wildlife Practical @ Turtle Sanctuary Cherating

8 weeks ,4 same people, 3 states, 3 species, 2 different cars.

Yesterday marked the end of my DVM3 extra mural farm practical.

The final arc of the 8 weeks series took place in the alluring beaches of Cherating, east coast Kuantan.

We didn't know what we wanted in the beginning but because Hottie wanted to try out something new; so sea turtle it was.

We had no allowance or place to stay; so we had to get a homestay around.

Established in 1998, the sanctuary boasted 60000 visitors in 2013; that's about 400 visitors a day. It's an extremely good performance, because 60000 people are being educated about the life, risks and importance of sea turtles in our shores.

Wildlife practicals, being out in the wild as they are required us to be under the sun for long hours. I'm pretty sure I got darker over the week with the amount of tanning job during our day shifts.

We had 2 shifts; the day and the night shift.

Although the sanctuary operates from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm; we only took the morning shift till 12.00pm and begin our night shift from 9.00pm to 12.00am instead.

The morning shift usually comprise of removing the unhatched turtle eggs from the hatchery to accommodate new eggs.

The blue nets were barricades for the nests to prevent error in records of the hatchling numbers. Baby turtles usually climb to the surface of the sands at night, so doing so will reduce the number of labors and errors imposed

Like chicken eggs, not all turtle eggs can hatch. Over the 45 days of incubation(as to 21 days in chicken);
some eggs hatch;

some eggs don't hatch because of absence in insemination;
some eggs don't because of viral; bacterial or parasitical infection;

some eggs don't because of predator attack like crabs which prevents full growth;
some eggs don't because of the genetics;

some eggs hatch so much later than the normal ones, till the point when we were removing the old eggs they were only hatching.

Holes dug are required to bask in the sun to disinfect them over 2 weeks before new eggs can be incubated in the hatchery.

The rest of the day is pretty much leisure because there wasn't a vet there to begin with. Records were made only at night and what we do left is to feed the sea turtles kept in captivity in the ponds of the sanctuary to educate the visitors.

Towards the evening, about 7.30 we were allowed to set some of the hatched sea turtles to the sea. The time picked towards nightfall aims to reduce the tendency of predator preying on the sea turtles; since most animals can't really see at night.

Our night patrols were pretty much the main highlights of the practical:

a- Preventing poachers
b- Rescuing sea turtle eggs laid by the sea turtle.

The idea of hatching eggs in a confined hatchery under supervision of the government prevents poachers from stealing naturally laid eggs to sell them for price of RM2.50 in the black market.

It is absurd because the nutrient of a sea turtle egg ain't exactly that much higher than that of a chicken's. The idea is because sea turtle is wild and eating their eggs serve to be a good experience. If the sea turtles were bred and captivated for the purpose I'm okay; but the conservation law listing them as an endangered species so, know what the limits are.

Strolling under the moonlight and stars along the beach; entertained by the chorus of waves, wind and sand was truly relaxing. This was really more of a holiday over a practical; minus the mosquito attacks.

It was a great experience working in the sanctuary, other times were really just food and more food; but I will definitely come back for another week or two just to getaway from KL. Satisfying food is real hard to find; but the journey to get them is really worth the experience.

Cherating has really limited food; but Kemaman of 20 minutes up north has really good offers

The famous Hai Peng Kopitiam was okay. The buns were amazing but I had better Kopi Os. Found in the center of Kemaman town, Chukai.

Satars in Kemaman along the road side towards Teluk Mak Nik were great. Sweet juicy fish paste grilled with charcoal. But you need to get the piping hot ones to serve the dish its justice.

Kemaman stuffed crab for RM8.50. It was quite good because its still a new dish to me, while the flesh inside was really; stuffed. Found right in the heart of Chukai Town.

A day before we end our practical, we spent the afternoon up to Dungun, Ice Queen's hometown for a short road trip. It was pretty much a food trip really, but since we are around, might as well

Had an authentic Keropok Lekor as suggested by Ice Queen. Great texture, more fish than flour definitely. But to me, best eaten by its own without the chilli there. Stalls along the coast of Kampung Bunga Raya pretty much taste the same

Air Jagung is apparently a must to try there. Great taste; definitely natural and ain't artificial. Sweet corn with ice along with great view of the sea and breeze; what other afternoon tea can beat this? Ask TWG go jump sea.

Like the name have suggested; Squid Crackers from this shop is apparently pretty good. Dungun souvenirs probably can't beat this shop. Found on the right side of the road once you have entered Dungun town from Kemaman.

The girls surprised me with a birthday cake on our last night; I totally didn't see that coming because I was busy thrashing them in UNO game. We had pengat durian, good cookies and a good cake to end our last night. It's definitely heartwarming to having people remembering our birthdays, and celebrating them for us because they really love us.

It has been a great practical.

Turtles, be strong and come back to lay more eggs for our future generation so they would know you have existed, and you are really beautiful.

Sisters, we will be forever sisters and this trip definitely have made us so much more closer.

Compulsory practicals have now come to an end this year. Time for real holidays!

PS: T's profile somehow still sticks out in my social media profile. But I'm pretty sure I got over T by now. I hope. 

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