Footage has emerged showing almost 100 critically endangered baby sea turtles walking into the sea on a Brazilian beach empty amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
Local media report a total of 97 Hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) hatched on the beach of Janga in the municipality of Paulista, in the north-eastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco.
In the footage, the tiny turtles can be seen crawling across the sand towards the sea and one of them is hit by a small wave.
Reports state the turtles are usually in danger after hatching as they can be attacked by predators or bothered by beachgoers, but only municipal workers witnessed this scene as gathering in public places has been banned.
Local media report that so far this year a total of 291 turtles have been born on the Paulista coast, with 87 green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) and 204 Hawksbill sea turtles. Local authorities commented that the turtles’ first contact with the sea was done under the eye of a monitoring program carried out by specialists since last year.
The hawksbill sea turtle is considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature primarily due to fishing practices. The World Wildlife Fund says the turtle’s existence is very important for marine ecosystems and helps to keep coral reefs and algae healthy.
According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University, Brazil has suffered 8,066 confirmed cases of coronavirus, 327 deaths and 127 recovered.
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