The Tortugas Of Xcacel, MX
Names: Boo Boo & Bo Bo – Two headed turtle
Beanie Bean – Small Albino
Snowflake – Large Albino
The three turtles in the pictures were in the care of a wonderful lady named Pat who worked for biologists on the beach at Xcacel on the Maya Riviera. Pat was originally from Florida. Every year from May to September, mother turtles would come onto the beach and make nests to lay their eggs in. Each nest would contain approximately 100 eggs. .In 1992 the Xcacel beach was closed during this time thanks to Pat who fought the Mexican government and won – for the time being anyway.
The biologists would keep a few hatchlings from different nests and observe them for a length of time before they let then go. Pat was in charge of the care of these babies. One year the hatchlings featured a two headed turtle and an albino Boo Boo and Bo Bo were born in 1991 as was Beanie Bean. Neither was expected to live very long. Snowflake came to Pat as an adult in 1994 from the island of Cozumel. The other turtles were trying to kill her because she was different. These three could not be released as they would not survive. When Boo Boo & Bo Bo try to swim they don’t get anywhere as they are headed in two different directions. In addition to being an albino, Beanie Bean was a “runt” and grew very little each year. She should have been the same size as Boo Boo & Bo Bo. Snowflake was full size. Pat loved here charges and lovingly took care of them for many years.
Pat kept the turtles in tanks that she had built/obtained with water circulating from the ocean constantly. She lived in a 15 foot house trailer beside the tanks caring and feeding the turtles every day. She did all of this from donations and the small admission fee onto the beach (about 33 cents at the time).
There were other unusual turtles that Pat cared for and released. One was shot through the eye with a spear gun and another had its leg amputated after becoming entangled in plastic netting.
Unfortunately, Pat died and the project was dismantled. We were told that the Boo Boo & Bo Bo were sent to the aquarium at Xcaret and that the albinos were released into the ocean. I went to Xcaret and did not see Boo Boo & Bo Bo and no one seemed to know about them.