Around two dozen sea turtles found freedom when they were released back into the wild after being rescued from suspected poachers in Bali. You have to see these adorable photos! By Amitha Ameen

Twenty-five sea turtles were rescued by marine officials in Bali and then released back into the ocean on Kuta beach in Denpasar on Wednesday. Photos from the happy event show conservationists placing the sea turtles, some of whom weighed more than 300 kilograms, on the sand and gently stroking their heads and coaxing them in the direction of the water.

The sea turtles can be seen struggling for a few seconds to identify their surroundings before digging their flippers into the sand and making a dash for the ocean. “Hopefully these 25 turtles will survive so that they can lay their eggs again,” chief of Bali conservation agency Agus Budi Santosa said (as reported on barrons.com).

The sea turtles were part of a total of 36 turtles that were seized by authorities during a raid in which several suspected traffickers were arrested, and could face jail time of up to five years if proven guilty under the wildlife protection laws in Indonesia. The remaining 11 sea turtles are set to be freed at a later date.

According to World Wildlife Fund, nearly all species of sea turtles are classified as endangered with three of the species already labelled under the critically endangered category. The reason for this alarmingly dwindling numbers is — overexploitation and poaching of these turtles for meat, leather, shells and eggs.

Indonesia’s Derawan archipelago off East Borneo is home to the world’s eighth-largest nesting grounds for the green sea turtles and the current population is only 10 per cent as compared to what it was 70 years ago.

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