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Last Updated: Thursday August 11 2005 10:08 GMT

Turtles get help after killings

An Olive Ridley turtle

Turtles in Mexico are to get special protection after about 80 of the creatures were found dead on a beach.

It's thought they were killed for their eggs, which are sold for lots of money.

The dead Olive Ridley turtles were found on Escobilla beach, which is one of the most important nesting grounds for the protected creatures.

The government has slammed the attacks as "an act of vandalism" and is working with the navy to help the turtles and prevent further killings.

The government has already sent two navy boats to patrol the beach and look out for anyone who might want to hurt the turtles.

The Olive Ridley sea turtle is the smallest sea turtle in the world.

They've been protected under Mexican law since 1990. There's a penalty of up to nine years in jail for anyone caught killing them.