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Turtle Independence Day at Mauna Lani Bay

July 4, 2010


turtle ride

Green Hawaiian Honu

Since 1989, Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows has received juvenile honu (turtle) from Oahu’s Sea Life Park, and has raised them in the saltwater ponds of the hotel. The honu are cared for until they grow to a size and weight that are deemed appropriate for release into the wild. This release occurs every July 4th. Since the program’s inception, Mauna Lani has nurtured over 200 juvenile honu in its saltwater ponds.

(It’s worth clicking the link to see the picture of the Green Sea Turtle!)

A fun way to start the July 4th holiday!

Three tips for anyone planning to attend the turtle release in the future:

1) Arrive early to get a spot near the water if you want to view the actual release.
2) Wear sunscreen.
3) To avoid the line of cars waiting to park in the main parking area, you can park at the Golf Pro Shop and take a shuttle that will drop you off close to the release site.

Today’s event started with a procession along the sidewalk behind the hotel followed by a welcome from Senator Akaka.  After a short hula, the turtles were released.

Photo 1 of 6:

turtle procession

The turtle procession makes its way to the beach

Photo 2:

turtle close up

The closest I could get to the turtles today

Photo 3:

turtle watching

I heard they were expecting about 500 people

Photo 4:

turtle hula

Hula before the turtle release (I tried a video, but no luck...too windy)

Photo 5:

turtle on the way to the water

A turtle on the way to its new home in the ocean

Photo 6:

turtle into the water

And off he goes...!

[I have to say thanks to Sheila Beal and her Go Visit Hawaii blog – I wouldn’t have known about the turtle release in time to go if not for her Big Island July 4th events post! Thanks, Sheila…  Hope you can make it to the release next year! ]

Happy 4th, everyone!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 5, 2010 12:47 am

    Aloha Cynthia,
    I really enjoyed your photos and recap of this event. It must have been exciting to cheer the little fellas onto their new home.

    Mahalo for the mention!

    Do you know Evelyn at She hosts a blog carnival of Aloha each month. A post like this one would be a perfect addition. I hope you’ll consider submitting it.

  2. July 5, 2010 3:53 am

    Great story and great pictures Cynthia. Thanks.

  3. July 7, 2010 8:43 am

    Hi Cynthia! Thank you for getting close and getting these pictures! I had no idea that this was an annual event! Shame on me! I love that it is in conjunction with Sea Life Park, too. I love stuff like this and I think it’s a great idea to have the event fall on July 4th! Giving the young honu their independence — great idea. 🙂


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