Wakayama: Rush of Turtle Births Draws Visitors to Marine Park

Courtesy of Kushimoto Marine Park Center
Baby sea turtles swim in a tank.

KUSHIMOTO, Wakayama — A number of baby sea turtles were recently born at the Kushimoto Marine Park Center’s aquarium in Kushimoto, Wakayama Prefecture, entertaining visitors as they energetically swim around their tank.

The center keeps a total of 30 turtles of the loggerhead, green and hawksbill species in an outdoor pool. From May to August this year, five loggerheads and one green turtle laid eggs on 18 occasions in a designated area adjacent to the pool.

Hatching began on Aug. 11, and about 200 turtles were born during a period of about 10 days. The newborns have a carapace 4.5 centimeters to 5 centimeters long, and weigh 20 grams to 30 grams. Green turtles are slightly bigger than loggerheads and have whitish bellies.

Courtesy of Kushimoto Marine Park Center
A baby turtle in a person’s palm

In one year, they will grow to have a carapace 15 to 20 centimeters long and weigh about 2 kilograms. With hatching likely to continue until late September, a total of more than 500 turtles are expected to be born.

“Now is the cutest time [for the turtles],” said Toru Yoshida, the center’s deputy director. “I hope people will see the horn-like projections between the nose and mouth and other features that are unique to the baby turtles.”