This summer 2011, I was privileged enough to travel to Costa Rica and volunteer at a turtle station. Poachers are a major issue in Costa Rica because they steal turtle eggs right off the beaches to sell.
It's 5 o'clock and our group is standing on the sandy beaches of Costa Rica. The weather was perfect, not rainy or very windy. We were waiting for the arrival of the guests of honor–baby leatherback turtles. We had the chance to watche them be released into the ocean.
Just seeing these tiny turtles work so hard to reach the water was amazing! They would need to overcome the uneven sand, a footprint hole was an obstacle to them. Everyone was cheering for them, wishing we could just pick them up and put them in the ocean ourselves. There flippers were in overdrive, becoming stronger with each step. They would need the strength to survive in the ocean; we learned it was likely that only one in a thousand leatherback baby would reach it to adulthood!
It was heartbreaking knowing their chance of survival was slim. Imagine: being this small turtle having to face all the dangers of the ocean. It's like the whole world is against you and you're just fighting to survive.
Never have I experience anything close to this, and I wouldn't give up this memory for anything! It was truly extraordinary and I wish good luck to all leatherback turtles out there!
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