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Jul 1, 2014 11:34 AM by Rachel Cole - rcole@kristv.com

Hundreds Gathered to Get a Glimpse of Sea Turtles Taking First Steps

CORPUS CHRISTI - There are only two places along the Texas coast, where the public can watch sea turtles take off on their first walks of life. One of them is at the Padre Island National Seashore, where hundreds gathered to get a glimpse at the rare species.

Adreanne Fulgham, 7, was in awe watching 87 kemp's ridley sea turtles, the most endangered species in the world, take their first steps.

"It's wonderful and great, it's amazing and I've never seen anything like this. You can see them up close, you can take pictures, it's great," Fulgham said.

A couple hundred people showed up to get a little background on the turtles, even some, like Becky Dusenberry, from North Texas!

"It's on my bucket list and this is something I've always wanted to do, I love sea turtles," Dusenberry said.

She says, she came down from Dallas just to see the release, she's always heard so much about.

"It's just a marvelous experience learning about the turtles and seeing them released into the wild and knowing that they have a chance to go out and grow up and actually come back and nest here," she added.

Meanwhile, Doctor Donna Shaver, with the Padre Island National Seashore explains, having the females return to shore to nest, is vital when it comes to growing the kemp's ridley population.

"When these little ones are released, that's are next generation, that's carrying with them the hope, that some of them will make it and come back to nest here in 10-15 years," Dr. Shaver said.

After they hatch, the water scoops them up and the swim away the current. Dr. Shaver says they expect about 20 releases this year, which will continue until mid-August, so watch your step on the beach.

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