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Saturday, June 1, 2019

Turtles ((don’t fly)) – does fly by chartered flight

Turtles don’t fly – does fly by chartered flight

There are many stories involving tortoise, especially of its winning a race against a hare.  This is  this  interesting story of ‘tortoise flying’ and ‘speaking madly’ in Panchatantra.   Once upon a time, there was a tortoise by the name of Kambugriva and two geese by the name of Sankata and Vikata.  When the local pond dried up totally, the geese tried shifting the tortoise by air; the geese took each side of a lengthy sticky, to which tortoise was to hang by holding on its mouth…… midway, curious to answer, the tortoise spoke, opening its mouth, letting off the stick int the process, fell down and died……..  Moral : listen to friendly advice and never speak when not required.   

Again, never try to replicate everything.  ‘"I think, therefore I am’ - is a philosophical Latin statement.  The simple meaning of the phrase is that someone wondering whether or not he or she exists is, in and of itself, proof that something, an "I", exists to do the thinking.  Don’t extend that logic mindlessly.  Tortoise don’t fly, you also don’t – don’t connect and say’ tortoises don’t fly; I also don’t and there I am a tortoise !!”

Some confusion on what is a Turtle and Tortoise – understand that a division of reptiles called Chelonia  includes turtles, tortoises and terrapins. In general, the reptiles referred to as turtles live in or near the water and have adapted to swim by holding their breath underwater. The reptiles referred to as tortoises typically live primarily in arid regions and are built for storing their own water supply and walking on sandy ground.  Now this post is about Kemp’s ridley and the unusual ride that it made !

Of the five sea turtle species that roam the Gulf of Mexico, the Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) is the smallest.  The young are dark gray in color but change as they mature. Adults are olive green above and yellow below.  They  feed mostly on crabs, but their diet also includes marine invertebrates and plants.  They are found mainly in the Gulf of Mexico, but immature turtles, probably carried by the currents, often appear elsewhere also.   They nest on the beaches of Mexico and some nesting occurs in Texas as well.  The females come ashore to lay their eggs and the males spend their entire lives at sea once they have hatched. The group of eggs laid by one mother at one time is referred to as a "clutch".

Kemp's ridley is the most endangered species of sea turtle as its population has dwindled due to over-harvest of eggs and loss of juveniles and adults due to commercial fishing.  In 1978, the U.S. joined Mexico in efforts to try to save the species from extinction and recover the population.  Read about an interesting news item (in :  of the flight of a young Kemp’s ridley sea turtles  from Massachusetts to South Carolina.  Around Dec 2011, there occurred unusually mild fall and winterturned brutal in the waters off Massachusetts — cold-stunned sea turtles got washed ashore – most were dead and the few survivors were in bad condition.  Reportedly, an  Eclipse 500 charter jet, owned by North American Jets of Charleston, S.C., happened to be in Boston, and the company owner, Mason Holland, agreed to fly any turtles in need of help from Boston to Charleston, where the South Carolina Aquarium runs a turtle hospital.

It was stated that turtles being cold-blooded animals, their body temperature depends on the water around them, perhaps they didn’t migrate south fast enough to escape the cold. Seven turtles were packed on board Holland’s plane and taken to Charleston, where aquarium staff and volunteers took them to the warmer, safer environment of the turtle hospital. Six of them were Kemp’s ridley turtles, a species listed as endangered; the seventh was a rare hybrid, half Kemp’s ridley and half green sea turtle.  They were to be treated with warmth, fluids, antibiotics, food  and after recovery were to taken down to local beaches and let back out to sea.  Thus, 7 turtles from Massachusetts flew all the way to South Carolina, around 1500 kms on a flight, a chartered flight at that and could be saved from death. 

Totally away from this ‘ Turtles Can Fly ’  -  is a 2004 film written and directed by the Kurdish Iranian filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi, a  film to be made in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein.  The film is set in a Kurdish refugee camp on the Iraqi-Turkish border on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
7th May 2o12.

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