Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa has celebrated the first turtle hatching of the season with the release of 22 sea turtles into their natural habitat from the beach of Al Bandar hotel.
As many as 100 hotel guests gathered on the beach to witness the occasion as the resort’s designated Turtle Ranger Mohammad Al Hassani and his team guided 22 Hawksbill and Green Turtle hatchlings into the Gulf of Oman on the afternoon of Saturday 15 April. This is the second hatching of the season, and prior to this scheduled release a nest of 70 sea turtles hatched overnight on Friday 14 April 2018.
Speaking about the first hatching and release of the season, Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa General Manager Mr Juergen Doerr, said: “It is always a great delight to witness the first turtle hatching of the season. The release of these tiny little creatures is a wonderful moment and are pleased to share this special moment with our guests to create a once in a lifetime experience and lasting holiday memories.
“Here at Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, we are fully committed to the care and protection of turtles in Oman and it is our privilege to provide a sanctuary for mother turtles, care for the hatchlings and protect these endangered species. Our Turtle Rangers work tirelessly to ensure the safety of all turtle nests and hatchlings.”
Turtle Ranger Mohammed has been taking care of turtles for many years. He patrols the resort’s beaches at night to ensure that mother turtles can nest in peace and that hatchlings make it to the sea. Mohammad and the turtle team work to raise awareness by hosting daily Turtle Talks, share information during guided weekly Turtle Walks, provide a sanctuary for turtles, care for hatchlings and protect these endangered species.
There are only five natural nesting sites in Oman, and Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa is one of them. Every year, approximately 100 female turtles return to the resort’s beach to lay their eggs, with each nest containing up to 120 eggs. In 2017 the total number of hatched turtles reached nearly 4,500. Currently the resort’s stretch of private beach is a home to 35 nests which are due to hatch between now and August.
Under the umbrella of sustainability, Shangri-La’s social responsibility programme consists of the two elements of “Embrace” and “Sanctuary”. Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa’s Turtle Care Project is under the Sanctuary programme. This initiative focuses on Shangri-La’s Care for Nature Project which promotes the conservation and restoration of biodiversity.
Educational Turtle Talks take place every day in the Eco Centre, located above Mokha Café in Al Bandar Hotel. Daily Turtle Talks commence at 17.00 and are free to attend. Weekly Turtle Walks take place every Friday at 10.00 from Al Waha beach, and guided snorkelling tours to witness sea turtles in their natural environment are also offered by the Resort Turtle Rangers.