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Sea turtle at MooMba Beach

May 10, 2022

An unusual sight at Palm Beach: a sea turtle lays nest at MooMba Beach.

On April 15th guests and staff of MooMba Beach were surprised by a visit from a giant leatherback sea turtle who laid her eggs on the pristine beach.

Since it was also a full moon, she received a fitting name: LUNA. In conjunction with the sea turtle foundation TurtugAruba, MooMba Beach had taken the necessary measures to ensure the safety of the nest.

Sea turtle at MooMba Beach

It is very unusual for a sea turtle to lay her eggs on Palm Beach, as they often prefer the calmer areas like Eagle Beach, Arashi and the north coast. However, LUNA seemed to have a determined eye for the sandy west coast of Aruba. Even more remarkable was that she visited the beach during a party night at MooMba. The moment she was detected, staff of MooMba Beach called the Turtle Hotline as well as the police, who immediately secured the area and kept bystanders on a distance.

“We know that bright light is disturbing to sea turtles as they might get disoriented and we immediately dimmed the lights and switched off the illumination surrounding the nest,” says Dries van Ierberghe, manager of MooMba Beach. “The police made sure the nest was secured and the many partygoers at MooMba witnessed an incredible and unusual sight.” With several parties scheduled in the upcoming month, MooMba Beach has taken extra measures to protect the nest. During Soul Beach Music Festival, for example, extra tall barricades will be placed around the nest, as well as several warning signs. Edith van der Wal, president of TurtugAruba says: “The eggs are not affected by louder music or a party nearby. Since the nest is properly secured, the eggs will mature in peace. And in the end, it was LUNA who picked the location for her nest. I guess she loves to party as well”, says Van der Wal with a smile.

Sea turtle at MooMba Beach

Leatherback sea turtles are endangered and live in the Atlantic Ocean where the water is cooler, but they always go back to their natal beach to lay their eggs. A leatherback turtle lays a nest every 2 tot 5 years and each nest has about 115 eggs a clutch.

When an unguarded nest or a sea turtle on the beach is spotted, one should call the turtle hotline (+297 592-9393) immediately. LUNA’s nest at MooMba Beach is due to hatch around June 15th. For more information on sea turtles in Aruba, visit the foundation’s Facebook page: View the interview with Edith van der Wal on YouTube:

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