The harsh re­al­ity of sur­vival in par­adise

Daily Mail - - Freeview Primetime Planner -

I WAS very up­set to see one of the baby tur­tles re­leased on TV’s Blue Planet Live be­ing eaten by a seag­ull. I vis­ited Bor­neo and had a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence on Tur­tle Is­land, which is de­voted to the con­ser­va­tion of these crea­tures and al­lows only a small num­ber of vis­i­tors to stay for just one night. We stayed in the only ac­com­mo­da­tion on the is­land, which is very ba­sic, as is the food. We doubted we would see a fe­male tur­tle dig­ging a crater to lay her eggs on the beach, but at 2am, the call came and we were guided silently by a ranger to the top of the beach. The eggs were col­lected care­fully and taken to the nurs­ery. Still in dark­ness, we wit­nessed the re­lease of a group of baby tur­tles that had hatched in the nurs­ery and saw them swim to the sea. It was the most lovely ex­pe­ri­ence. What I don’t un­der­stand is why the baby tur­tles were re­leased in day­light in Blue Planet Live. I feel what I ex­pe­ri­enced in Bor­neo was as na­ture in­tended, with the baby tur­tles en­ter­ing the sea in the dark. I fear that what the TV show por­trayed was not con­ser­va­tion, but was dic­tated by the needs of mak­ing a pro­gramme.

HEATHER KNIGHT, Sut­ton Courte­nay, Oxon. WE WERE charmed when pre­sen­ter Liz Bon­nin helped a tiny tur­tle hatch­ling out of a de­pres­sion in the sand on the last few feet of its jour­ney to the safety of the sea. Sec­onds later, a seag­ull was seen strut­ting along the shore­line with a help­less, snack-sized new­born tur­tle in its beak, though the com­men­tary made no men­tion of it. The RSPB would have us be­lieve these crafty hunter-scav­engers are en­dan­gered, de­spite ac­quir­ing skills such as de­priv­ing hol­i­day­mak­ers of their al­fresco meals with pin­point tim­ing or cheek­ily saun­ter­ing into shops to snaf­fle bags of crisps. Come the end of the world, man-made or oth­er­wise, surely two pest species will sur­vive: cock­roaches and seag­ulls. TERRY HICK­MAN, Southamp­ton, Hants.

Snatched in a se­cond: Blue Planet Live pre­sen­ter Liz Bon­nin is un­aware that a seag­ull (cir­cled) has caught a baby tur­tle just be­hind her

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