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Indonesia: Volunteers release 10,000 baby turtles in Bali


Bali, Indonesia: Thousands of scaly, mini-flippered baby sea turtles took their first plunge into the ocean at a beach in Indonesia's island of Bali on Friday after they were released by volunteers and conservationists.

According to event organisers the Bali Sea Turtles Conservation and the Bali Natural Resources and Conservation Center, around 10,000 baby sea turtles were released. The event was held to coincide with Indonesia's national environment day and to raise awareness of environmental protection for the endangered animal, organisers said.
"I'm so excited, it's really exciting to see all of these turtles being released into the wild. We hope they really, a lot of them survive," said an Jessica Lieberman, a volunteer from the United States. The hatchlings released on Friday were Olive Ridley turtles, all of them having been hatched at the Bali Sea Turtles Conservation from eggs found on beaches in the island's Gianyar regency.

The population of sea turtles 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. Agus Budi Santoso, head of the Bali Natural Resources and Conservation Center, recommended setting up a "green zone" for the sea turtles to lay eggs, providing them with a stable shelter.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, almost all species of sea turtles are considered as 'endangered', with three of them classified as 'critically endangered'. The event on Friday came just days after 25 green turtles rescued from illegal traffickers were released back into their natural habitat.

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