Indonesia releases 25 sea turtles
Indonesian authorities released 25 green turtles into the sea on the island of Bali on Wednesday, returning them to freedom after they were rescued last month during a raid on illegal traffickers.
The population of the endangered turtle, a protected species in Indonesia, has declined significantly in recent years due to hunting, loss of beach nesting sites, over-harvesting of their eggs and being caught in fishing gear.
Officials stroked and gently patted the heads of the turtles as they were lined up on the beach, some digging their flippers into the sand before slowly pulling themselves into the sea as waves crashed over them.
There were 36 turtles in total rescued and the remaining 11 will be released next week.
Agus Budi Santoso, head of the Bali Natural Resources Conservation Center, said the turtles needed to be assessed fully to ensure they were healthy and able to cope in the natural environment.
“If they cannot adapt to the environment, we cannot release them,” Santoso said.