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Pictures | Wed Sep 25, 2019 | 8:15pm EDT

Endangered turtles bred in captivity to help save species in Israel

A newly-hatched baby sea turtle makes its way into the Mediterranean Sea for the first time, as part of the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation program, at a beach near Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9, 2019. Green turtles are endangered worldwide, the World Wildlife Fund says. Among other hazards, they are threatened by hunting, human encroachment on the beaches where they nest, and pollution of their feeding grounds offshore.

According to the Israeli rescue center, only about 20 female green turtles nest along the Israeli Mediterranean coast during a breeding season that usually lasts from May until August. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A newly-hatched baby sea turtle makes its way into the Mediterranean Sea for the first time, as part of the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation program, at a beach near Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9, 2019. Green turtles...more

A newly-hatched baby sea turtle makes its way into the Mediterranean Sea for the first time, as part of the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation program, at a beach near Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9, 2019. Green turtles are endangered worldwide, the World Wildlife Fund says. Among other hazards, they are threatened by hunting, human encroachment on the beaches where they nest, and pollution of their feeding grounds offshore. According to the Israeli rescue center, only about 20 female green turtles nest along the Israeli Mediterranean coast during a breeding season that usually lasts from May until August. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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A boy looks at a sea turtle hatchling, near a protective nesting site for turtles set-up as part the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a Mediterranean beach near Mikhmoret, north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. To help the turtle population, Israeli nature authorities have declared some beaches nature reserves and with the rescue center have been relocating threatened turtle nests to safe hatcheries since the 1980s.

In 2002, the rescue center went a step further and began recruiting turtles for a special breeding stock that would one day help populate the sea with their offspring, in one of the world's only such conservation program. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A boy looks at a sea turtle hatchling, near a protective nesting site for turtles set-up as part the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a Mediterranean beach near Mikhmoret, north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. To help...more

A boy looks at a sea turtle hatchling, near a protective nesting site for turtles set-up as part the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a Mediterranean beach near Mikhmoret, north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. To help the turtle population, Israeli nature authorities have declared some beaches nature reserves and with the rescue center have been relocating threatened turtle nests to safe hatcheries since the 1980s. In 2002, the rescue center went a step further and began recruiting turtles for a special breeding stock that would one day help populate the sea with their offspring, in one of the world's only such conservation program. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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A volunteer looks at a sea turtle nest inside a fenced-off protective nesting site, set-up as part the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a Mediterranean beach near Mikhmoret, north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. The mating squad began to reach sexual maturity a few years ago and this year managed to breed, said the center's manager, Yaniv Levi. About 200 baby turtles are expected to hatch by the end of the breeding season.

"We're only at the beginning, it's the first year, and we expect that in the coming years we will be able to spawn 1,000 hatchlings a year," Levi said. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A volunteer looks at a sea turtle nest inside a fenced-off protective nesting site, set-up as part the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a Mediterranean beach near Mikhmoret, north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. The...more

A volunteer looks at a sea turtle nest inside a fenced-off protective nesting site, set-up as part the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a Mediterranean beach near Mikhmoret, north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. The mating squad began to reach sexual maturity a few years ago and this year managed to breed, said the center's manager, Yaniv Levi. About 200 baby turtles are expected to hatch by the end of the breeding season. "We're only at the beginning, it's the first year, and we expect that in the coming years we will be able to spawn 1,000 hatchlings a year," Levi said. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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Newly-hatched baby sea turtles make their way into the Mediterranean Sea for the first time, as part of the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a beach near Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Newly-hatched baby sea turtles make their way into the Mediterranean Sea for the first time, as part of the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a beach near Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Newly-hatched baby sea turtles make their way into the Mediterranean Sea for the first time, as part of the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a beach near Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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A green sea turtle is seen next to a researcher at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A green sea turtle is seen next to a researcher at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A green sea turtle is seen next to a researcher at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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Two green sea turtles touch heads at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Two green sea turtles touch heads at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Two green sea turtles touch heads at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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Green sea turtles are seen in a picture taken with a Go-Pro camera attached to a turtle as it swims inside a pool at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Green sea turtles are seen in a picture taken with a Go-Pro camera attached to a turtle as it swims inside a pool at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Green sea turtles are seen in a picture taken with a Go-Pro camera attached to a turtle as it swims inside a pool at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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Researchers prepare to lift a green sea turtle out of a pool in order to clean the pool at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Researchers prepare to lift a green sea turtle out of a pool in order to clean the pool at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Researchers prepare to lift a green sea turtle out of a pool in order to clean the pool at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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A green sea turtle is surrounded by lettuce as it swims in a pool at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A green sea turtle is surrounded by lettuce as it swims in a pool at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A green sea turtle is surrounded by lettuce as it swims in a pool at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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Green sea turtles are seen in a section of a pool as a staff member cleans another section at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Green sea turtles are seen in a section of a pool as a staff member cleans another section at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Green sea turtles are seen in a section of a pool as a staff member cleans another section at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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A green sea turtle is seen as water splashes next to it inside a pool at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A green sea turtle is seen as water splashes next to it inside a pool at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A green sea turtle is seen as water splashes next to it inside a pool at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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A sea turtle hatchling emerges from the sand as it comes out of its nest inside a fenced-off protective nesting site, set-up as part the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a Mediterranean beach near Mikhmoret, north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A sea turtle hatchling emerges from the sand as it comes out of its nest inside a fenced-off protective nesting site, set-up as part the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a Mediterranean beach near Mikhmoret, north of Tel...more

A sea turtle hatchling emerges from the sand as it comes out of its nest inside a fenced-off protective nesting site, set-up as part the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a Mediterranean beach near Mikhmoret, north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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A child holds a newly-hatched baby sea turtle born at a protective nesting site set-up as part of the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a beach near Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A child holds a newly-hatched baby sea turtle born at a protective nesting site set-up as part of the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a beach near Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A child holds a newly-hatched baby sea turtle born at a protective nesting site set-up as part of the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a beach near Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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A general view shows a fenced-off protective nesting site for sea turtles, set-up as part the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a Mediterranean beach near Mikhmoret, north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A general view shows a fenced-off protective nesting site for sea turtles, set-up as part the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a Mediterranean beach near Mikhmoret, north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. REUTERS/Amir...more

A general view shows a fenced-off protective nesting site for sea turtles, set-up as part the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a Mediterranean beach near Mikhmoret, north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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Researchers perform blood tests on a green sea turtle as part of a conservation programme at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Researchers perform blood tests on a green sea turtle as part of a conservation programme at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Researchers perform blood tests on a green sea turtle as part of a conservation programme at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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A researcher draws blood from a green sea turtle as part of a conservation programme at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A researcher draws blood from a green sea turtle as part of a conservation programme at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A researcher draws blood from a green sea turtle as part of a conservation programme at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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Yaniv Levi, manager of the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, looks at eggshells from newly-hatched baby sea turtles in a fenced-off protective nesting site, set-up as part the center's conservation programme, at a Mediterranean beach near Mikhmoret, north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Yaniv Levi, manager of the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, looks at eggshells from newly-hatched baby sea turtles in a fenced-off protective nesting site, set-up as part the center's conservation programme, at a Mediterranean beach near Mikhmoret,...more

Yaniv Levi, manager of the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, looks at eggshells from newly-hatched baby sea turtles in a fenced-off protective nesting site, set-up as part the center's conservation programme, at a Mediterranean beach near Mikhmoret, north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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A green sea turtle is seen at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A green sea turtle is seen at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A green sea turtle is seen at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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A veterinarian performs an ultrasound scan on a female green sea turtle as part of a conservation programme at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A veterinarian performs an ultrasound scan on a female green sea turtle as part of a conservation programme at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A veterinarian performs an ultrasound scan on a female green sea turtle as part of a conservation programme at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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Children hold newly-hatched baby sea turtles born at a protective nesting site set-up as part of the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a beach near Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Children hold newly-hatched baby sea turtles born at a protective nesting site set-up as part of the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a beach near Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Children hold newly-hatched baby sea turtles born at a protective nesting site set-up as part of the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a beach near Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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A green sea turtle swims inside a pool at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A green sea turtle swims inside a pool at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A green sea turtle swims inside a pool at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 23. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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A newly-hatched baby sea turtle makes its way into the Mediterranean Sea for the first time, as part of the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a beach near Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A newly-hatched baby sea turtle makes its way into the Mediterranean Sea for the first time, as part of the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a beach near Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A newly-hatched baby sea turtle makes its way into the Mediterranean Sea for the first time, as part of the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center's conservation programme, at a beach near Mikhmoret north of Tel Aviv, Israel September 9. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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