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Though it is common for volunteers of Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire to ensure that the hundreds of loggerhead sea turtles that hatch on the beaches of the Caribbean Island make it to sea each year, the task usually involves just keeping an eye on them. This year, they had to do something they have never done before - Create a human wall for some of the little ones that were confused as to the path to the ocean.
It all began when volunteers on Bonaire Island noticed a group of turtles hatching a little further out on the beach, closer to the airport. This was a problem because once they hatch, the babies normally seek out the bright moonlight to guide them to the sea.
However, when the turtles are born so close to the airport, they get confused between the bright lights emanating from the terminal and that of the moon and often, end up heading in the wrong direction. A similar situation a few years ago, resulted in a whole group getting killed after they accidentally stumbled upon a busy road.
Determined not to let this occur again, the volunteers kept a close eye on the batch of turtles eggs as they began to hatch. Then on July 1st came the big day when the little hatchlings were ready to make their long trek to the water. In order to ensure they followed the light from the moon and not the one from the airport, the volunteers came together and created a human wall around the turtles, effectively blocking out all artificial light. Sure enough, all 112 turtles trotted in the right direction and made it to sea, safely.
Found almost throughout the world, loggerhead sea turtles spend most of their lives in water. The only time females come ashore is to lay eggs. While the adult marine reptiles which weigh up to 300 lbs and are preyed upon only by large fish, like sharks, are not vulnerable, the eggs and young ones often fall prey to numerous ground predators. This along with accidental deaths caused by fishing trawls, loss of nesting habitats and the fact that females lay eggs every two to three years, has resulted in placing these ancient animals on the highly endangered species list. It is therefore no wonder that this news is causing animal lovers all over the world to celebrate with great abandon!
Resources: yahoo.news.com, huffingtonpost.com