Turtles of Zihuatanejo

Recently a great photographer and friend of mine surprised me with some photos of the baby turtle rescue operation that goes on in Zihuatanejo. Back in 2007, we had the amazing opportunity to be involved in each step of the process, from catching and collecting eggs, to helping the hatchlings dig their way out of their nests, trhansferring them to holding tanks and finally making a run for the ocean at dusk. I had never done much with my photos until now. Here are a few of the entire process. First though, a little history about the program…

Each year, Olive Ridley, Leatherback and Hawksbill sea turtles make their way back to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo where they come ashore and lay their eggs. The biggest number of arrivals occurs at night. The government, hotels, companies and individuals help in the task of collecting the eggs, building temporary pens in the sand until they hatch, moving them to small sea water pools for 14 to 21 days before they will be released back into the ocean. Each year thousands and thousands of young and healthy turtles are safely released. From 1997, during the first year of the program, more than 5000 were cared for and released. Since then, year after year, the average number of releases is 75,000.

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