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The Great Escape

Nikko Bali Resort and Spa and Local Citizen Groups Across Island Working to Save Dwindling Turtle Populations.

(8/15/2011) Bali is quickly earning a reputation as a world center for initiatives releasing turtles into the oceans, joining a concerted worldwide effort to replenish the world’s declining turtle populations.

On Friday, August 12, 2011, Nikko Bali Resort and Spa released 144 baby sea turtles back into the ocean from their beach front at Nusa Dua. The release is part of a rescue effort of 500 turtles eggs discovered in five nests discovered on the hotel’s beach. To date, some 300 eggs have been lovingly guarded and hatched before being released into the ocean.

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A shown on the pictures on Balidiscovery.com, guests enthusiastically joined Nikko Bali Resort and Spa staff in releasing the hatchlings into the Indian Ocean.

Further to the north, on Saturday, August 6, 2011, 350 turtle hatchlings were released onto Perancak Beach in Jembrana, West Bali. The large grouping of Olive Ridley sea turtles or Penyu lekang (Lepidochelys olivacea) were released by the Kurma Asih Turtle Conservation Group who invited kindergarten children to participate in the joyful event.

"We are undertaking conservation in order that our grandchildren will also be able to see and hold turtles in their hands. If we do not do this, in just 5-10 years our children will only see turtles in old films shown on the television,” explained Anom Astika, the conservation chairman of the Kurma Asih Turtle Conservation Group.

Anom explained to Beritabali.com that limitation in funding prevents her group from rescuing even more turtle eggs, prompting the group to undertake fundraising.

The kindergarten teacher bringing the children to the beach to participate in the release program, Wira Kumara Ni Gusti Komang Masrini, said, “I invited the children to joint this conservation groups in order that they can become in turtle conservation from a young age.”

Between June and August 2011 the Kurma Asih Turtle Conservation Group has successfully released some 2,897 turtles back into the oceans surrounding Bali.