About two dozen green turtles were released into the wild in Bali on Wednesday after the endangered creatures were rescued from poachers on the Indonesian holiday island.
Navy officials carefully guided the giant reptiles as they flapped their fins in the sand to propel themselves into the water.
The turtles were among 36 seized after a raid last month that saw the arrest of several suspected traffickers – who could spend five years behind bars if found guilty under Indonesian wildlife laws.
“Hopefully these 25 turtles will survive so they can lay eggs again,” Bali Conservation Agency chief Agus Budi Santosa said, adding that 11 others rescued at the time would be released later.
Turtles, which can grow over one meter (three feet) in length and weigh over 300 kilograms (700 pounds), are at risk due to poaching and habitat destruction.
Their eggs are considered a delicacy and they are also slaughtered for their meat, skin, and shells.
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