(NBC) Critically endangered sea turtles in Texas were released Wednesday morning in Texas, swimming away to start a new life.
The species of sea turtle, the Kemp’s ridley, is the rarest sea turtle on the planet. But more than 200 of them were released into the ocean in an attempt to help boost the population.
The turtles used their tiny, adorable fins to push themselves into the ocean. Hundreds of people cheered on the little creatures as the waves pulled them into the sea.
“We’ve been finding the nest here on South Padre and Boca Chica beaches since April. We’ve been protecting the eggs and incubating them at a safe place..through the night, this morning and early in the morning at 1:30 all the way up until sunrise we’ve released about 800 babies that hatched this morning,” said Jeff George, the Executive Director of Sea Turtle, Inc.
“We estimate with all this work, finding the nest, protecting the eggs, releasing the babies about three in a thousand will make it to survive as an adult.”
Although baby sea turtles are vulnerable in the wild, conservation efforts like the efforts of Sea Turtle, Inc. help to improve the animals’ odds.