Endangered Sea Turtle Shows Amazing Trust In Scuba Diver
Sea turtles are among the most beautiful and graceful creatures in the ocean. For many scuba divers, the sight of a sea turtle or the opportunity to briefly swim near one is something they will remember forever. The turtles' peaceful and gentle nature is very endearing, as is their vulnerability. We are understandably protective of them and awe struck at the same time. No scuba diver will deny that a close or prolonged encounter with one of these animals is unforgettable.
This is a Hawksbill Sea Turtle, a critically endangered species that can be seen in the Caribbean, although their numbers have been decreasing at an alarming rate. Unlike most sea turtles, Hawksbills are carnivores, feeding on coral and sponges.
Kristy is an experienced scuba diver with a passion for animals, and turtles in particular. She was thrilled beyond words when two huge Hawksbills glided past her, circled her curiously, and then settled on the reef beside her to munch away on the coral. With a very slow and cautious approach, she inched her way up to one of the unconcerned beasts and videotaped it ripping off chunks of a sea sponge.
Amazed with the trust that this Hawksbill was showing in Kristy, her husband Dave also started videotaping the spectacle. With one finger on a piece of rubble, Kristy managed to position herself above the reef, right in front of the turtle. Her tiny camera was inches from its beak, capturing the action as the turtle ate. Its face fills the screen and we can see every detail of its head and eyes. Amazingly, even the sound of the beak crunching is captured in this video.
Even though they are clumsy in appearance, sea turtles are graceful swimmers. Their bulky shells and large flippers would have us think that they are slow and awkward, but the opposite is true. They are capable of gliding smoothly along at an impressive pace and they can put on a burst of speed that would easily leave a scuba diver behind, if they felt threatened. What made this such a magical experience was how comfortable the turtle was with Kristy's presence as it ate its meal. Kristy was face to face with this magnificent creature, looking right into its eyes the whole time.
Dave filmed from directly above and could sense Kristy's excitement as this took place. The result was a combination of footage that captures just how incredible this experience was. It truly was a once in a lifetime encounter.