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Rare baby Lora turtles seen in Yucatán for the first time

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
A first for its species, a lora turtle hatchling makes its way into Yucatán’s Gulf of Mexico for the first time. Photo: Courtesy

For the first time ever in Yucatán, biologists recorded the birth of a species of turtle known as tortuga Lora.

The species was first noticed by biologists in Progreso this May, but now 56 baby turtles have hatched on Yucatecan soil. 

The news has been celebrated by ecologists who hope to learn more about this species of sea turtle, as well as what brought it to Yucatán in the first place.

The tortuga Lora, also known as Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, is the world’s rarest species of sea turtle as well as the most endangered. It is also the smallest sea turtle in the world.

Earlier: Baby turtles head to sea with help of international residents

The largest nesting grounds for Lora turtles are located on the coasts of the Mexican states of Veracruz and Tamaulipas.

A Lora turtle makes its way to the sea as an adult one arrives to lay eggs in Costa Rica. Photo: Getty

“We are thrilled to have Lora turtles on our shores, we must do everything in our power to protect them and all other endangered species,” said Yucatán Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal.

Aside from the Lora, there are three species of sea turtles native to the Peninsula: the Caguama, Carey, and Verde — all of which are endangered.

A lucrative black market for sea turtle eggs and shells continues across Latin America, where they are used as ingredients in food, traditional remedies, and jewelry.

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