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Last Updated: Saturday October 07 2006 14:44 GMT

Kids help rare baby turtles

A baby sea turtle takes its first steps towards the ocean in Mexico

Kids in Mexico helped boost turtle numbers when they took part in a mass release of the rare species.

The 1,500 baby Golfina turtles had been guarded day and night by police and volunteers since they hatched from eggs buried in the sand.

The children watched over the 45-day-old creatures as they took their first steps into the sea.

The release is part of a programme to protect the turtles, which are in danger of becoming extinct.

Kids release baby sea turtles in Mexico
Kids watch the tiny turtles on the sand

The Mexican government has also brought in fines for turtle-egg snatchers and is running special workshops to teach fishermen more about different species of turtles.

Anyone harming a turtle in Mexico can get up to nine years in prison.

There are seven different species of turtle in the world, six of which nest in Mexico.