Rangers protect endangered turtle eggs, return 45 babies to sea

By Viet Quoc   August 17, 2020 | 09:32 pm PT
Rangers protect endangered turtle eggs, return 45 babies to sea
Baby olive ridley sea turtles on Phu Quy Island, Binh Thuan Province, south central Vietnam, August 17, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Huynh.
Forty five endangered baby sea turtles were released into the sea in Binh Thuan Province on Monday after rangers had guarded their nest until they hatched.

The olive ridley sea turtles took 51 days to hatch, the Phu Quy Island District Aquatic Resource Protection Station said.

The eggs were laid by a turtle locals first spotted on a beach on the island in June 27, trying unsuccessfully to dig the sand since there were water pipes below.

It was returned to the sea so that it could find a more suitable place to lay eggs, which it did the following day.

After the eggs were laid the station put up notices around the site to prevent people from getting near them, Do Minh Loc, head of the protection station, said.

Station personnel dropped the baby turtles into the sea 500 m from shore in the south central province.

"Watching them returning to the sea made us very happy after spending so many days protecting them," Loc said.

Phu Quy locals said sea turtles often come to the island to lay eggs between June and November, but their frequency has reduced in the last few decades due to coastal erosion and the presence of revetments.

Five sea turtle species are found in Vietnam: green sea, loggerhead, olive ridley, hawksbill, and leatherback.

Their populations are threatened by pollution and loss of nesting areas due to coastal development, among other factors.

All are protected, and hunting or trading any of them is a crime.

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