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All over the world, poor people and shrimpers have been killing turtles like nobody’s business.  The current state-of-the-art is to get the shrimpers to pretend they’re not killing turtles, and to get the poor people to see turtles as a cool thing, not just easy prey.

Also, there is an emphasis on making turtle egg-laying more productive by keeping the beaches wild and by limiting lighting on and behind the beaches.

Often, conservation groups patrol the beaches every morning, dig up the nests from the night before, collect the eggs, then try and get as many of the baby turtles into the water.  They often involve local school kids in the turtle releases to motivate them to get their parents to stop making turtle soup.

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Here is the setup at the beach-front hotel here in Tenecatita.  The anchorage is in the distance, inside the hook of land.

If they find a nest on the beach, they dig it up and transfer the eggs to inside the chain-link fence.  They label the clutch with date found, number of eggs, and estimated hatch date based on 45 days cook time.  There were two nests over a week overdue, so we checked every day knowing a hatch was near.

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Under the thatch roof is a tiny fake beach, where they hold the new turtles until the evening.

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People come from all over the world to see the baby turtles and become happy.

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Somehow, in their short lives, these turtles have already learned a few entertaining tricks.  “Roll Over!” seems to be a favorite.

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People show up on the beach at dusk to release the turtles into the Pacific Ocean.  This evening there were approximately five foot waves breaking on the beach. Good thing the turtles have such hard shells.  Actually, it wouldn’t surprise me if the waves help by confusing the environment for predators, at least for the first few feet.

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