Sea turtles have been swimming the world’s oceans for more than 100 million years. Some species, according to the World Turtle Trust, have actually been around since before some dinosaur species.
There were once millions of sea turtles in the ocean, but the advent of humankind has caused a population crisis, and thanks to pollution, debris, fishing and other threats, “all seven species of sea turtle are considered either endangered or threatened,” the WTT says.
But sometimes what humans take away, humans can give back. Thanks to the GoPro camera, we can watch these divers rescue a sea turtle from human debris in high definition.
Divers Colin Sutton and Cameron Dietrich were boating off the Mexican coast earlier this summer when they came across this helpless turtle whose left fin was tangled in some sort of rope and other sea junk.
What’s really heartwarming about this video is not only the rescue of the trapped turtle by the snorkeling divers, but the touching interaction between turtle and man after the friendly animal is freed.
Watch how the turtle comes back to say thank you to the human who freed him, an receives a some loving head-pets in return.
According to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, ocean debris is one of the greatest threats not only to sea turtles, but all sea creatures.
“Marine debris can constrict an entangled animal’s movement which results in exhaustion or development of an infection from deep wounds caused by tightening material,” the EPA says. For example, volunteers participating in the 2008 International Coastal Cleanup event discovered 443 animals and birds entangled or trapped by marine debris.”
Not all of those marine animals are lucky enough to find a human savior, like this smiling sea turtle.