From the moment a mother green sea turtle lays her eggs until they hatch approximately 60 days later, the nest is a target for snakes, small marine mammals, and humans that consider the eggs a delicacy.
While locals are still known to eat the eggs, eating the turtles is banned. This would perhaps be ineffective if eating turtles wasn't also considered religiously a bit murky according to the mostly Muslim population living on Java.
Green sea turtles can live until around 80 years old, and the largest weighed was a whopping 870 pounds.
It took this female green sea turtle about an hour and a half to make her way to the high tide mark, leaving behind a two-foot wide dark trail in the sand that I first mistook for the tire marks of a four-wheeler.
At 9:30pm the guides signaled our small group to the beach, and we had a close-up view of the wet ping pong ball-like eggs as she ejected them into the 1.5 foot ditch she dug with her flippers.
Photo: Mairi Beautyman