Soneva Jani witnesses rare green turtle hatching, 88 makes to ocean
Soneva Jani has witnessed the hatching of 88 rare green turtles.
On April 11, 86 green turtle hatchlings made their way to ocean. The following day, Soneva Jani’s resident marine biologist Eleanor Butler excavated the nest to check for any hatchlings that might need help reaching the ocean. Two more were found and released, bringing the total to 88.
The story of the sea turtles began in February, when, on the evening of Valentine’s Day, a green sea turtle chose Soneva Jani’s beach as the location for her nest. The eggs were expected to hatch between April 11-21. The turtle’s arrival was unusually early, as sea turtles normally lay their eggs from May to June. Throughout the night, she dug over 25 different holes for over seven hours, trying to find the perfect spot to lay her eggs. Sea turtles usually favour secluded areas, but this green turtle chose a beach frequented by guests. Eleanor watched over the turtle throughout her time on the island until the next morning; the beach which she chose as the location of her nest was then named Serendipity Beach.
Before the eggs hatched, guests could join nightly viewings of the nest from a nearby purpose-built viewing platform. To commemorate the early arrival of the baby turtles, Soneva will be donating USD 1,000 per occupied villa to the Olive Ridley Project, which Soneva recently entered into a partnership with.
The aim of the official new partnership involves hiring a special ‘turtle biologist’ to oversee the Turtle ID Database in Noonu atoll, monitor turtle nesting activity at Soneva Jani, and eventually run the rehabilitation centre that will be built on the island to help sick and injured sea turtles regain their health. In honour of the turtle’s fortuitous timing, Soneva Jani’s jewellery boutique will also donate 10 per cent of the revenue from every turtle bracelet sold to the turtle sanctuary and rehabilitation centre.
Opened in December 2016, Soneva Jani is Soneva’s newest property and the world-leading luxury hotel group’s second resort in the Maldives.
Soneva Jani is located on the island of Medhufaru within a 5.6 kilometre lagoon in the Noonu atoll, and has uninterrupted ocean views in all directions. The lagoon is 35 minutes by seaplane from Velana International Airport and one hour by speedboat from Soneva Fushi.
Meaning ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani currently comprises 24 overwater villas and one island villa, with additional villas to be built in phase two. Five islands encircle the lagoon, each one with soft white sands and covered in rich tropical vegetation. Four of the five islands will remain untouched, making Soneva Jani the lowest density development in the Maldives. The overwater villas are spaced across the expansive lagoon, offering privacy and extensive views over the Maldives’ turquoise waters. The island villas will be tucked into the lush greenery, providing the ultimate privacy, and all within steps of the beach.
Soneva Jani’s main guest facilities are located at The Gathering, the heart of the overwater villas. This dramatic three story structure is home to the main dining outlets, in addition to the Soneva Spa, library, retail area and wine cellar. It is located next to the Maldives’ first overwater Observatory.
Facilities on the island include the overwater Cinema Paradiso, the Eco Centro Waste-to-Wealth centre, organic gardens, tennis courts, water sports champa and Zuhair’s Beach on a desert island in the lagoon.