Thousands of sea turtles migrate annually from the shores of the Arabian Gulf, the Red Sea and Somalia to lay their eggs on the Sultanate’s shores. Oman has five of the seven species of sea turtles. They are: The Green Turtle, found on most Omani beaches and plentiful in Ras Al Hadd, Ras Al Jinz, Masirah Island and Ad Daymaniyat Islands; the Loggerhead Turtle that nests on Masirah Island, the shores of Dhofar and Ad Daymaniyat Islands; the Hawksbill Turtle that nests on the shores of Muscat and Ad Daymaniyat Islands; the Olive Ridley Turtle that nests on Masirah Island; and the Leatherback Turtle which is found in Omani waters but does not nest in the Sultanate.
At night, these turtles carrying their heavy shells on their backs, drag themselves out of the water to the beach, and strenuously and with great difficulty, dig a hole in the sand using the tips of their paws so as to bury their eggs and then return to the sea. After about 55 days, the eggs hatch and baby turtles come out to start the most dangerous journey of their lives, trying to avoid hungry foxes, crabs and birds and push their way towards the sea where they can find safety in the waters. Watching the turtles’ night dash to the sea is among the most popular tourist activities.
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