OAXACA – Hundreds of new Olive Ridley turtle hatchlings were released back into the wild on the beach in Concepcion Bama in Mexico.

Egg-laying migration brings the turtles to Oaxaca's Pacific beaches every year.

Local families gathered on the beach to place the turtles on the sand and watch them make their way into the sea.

The annual mass release event creates awareness of the local turtle population.

The endangered species' meat and eggs are a traditional part of the coastal area's diet and are hunted for meat and leather, even though their sale is illegal.

Named for its olive green shell, the Olive Ridley sea turtle is listed as endangered by the World Conservation Union since 1986 because of declining numbers from centuries of overexploitation.

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