Indonesia’s baby sea turtles make a break for freedom - GulfToday

Indonesia’s baby sea turtles make a break for freedom

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Baby sea turtles making their way out from the nests. AFP

Gulf Today Report

Newly hatched, dozens of baby turtles flipped and flopped their way down a beach towards the crashing waves of the Indian Ocean, under the watchful gaze of conservationists at an Indonesian national park


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Small enough to fit into the palm of a hand, some ended up on their backs, wriggling their tiny flippers helplessly as they tried to get back on track.

But the conservationists did not interfere, as they wanted the creatures to "map" their surroundings and then return to lay eggs decades later.

"Sea turtles mature at 25 years old, so if they're released today, we'll probably meet them again 25 years from now," said Ardhini Estu Wardana, a forest ranger at Meru Betiri National Park on the eastern edge of Java.

turtles 2 Baby sea turtles making their way out from the nests on a beach in Sukamade. AFP

Its beaches are nesting grounds for several species of turtle.

The night before, a giant female over a metre (3.3 feet) long laid more than 160 eggs on the shore, sweeping mounds of sand over them to protect them from predators.

Turtles, under threat from poaching and habitat destruction, are protected under Indonesian law, according to AFP.

Six of the world's seven turtle species can be found in Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands and home to a dizzying array of exotic wildlife.


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