Baby sea turtles hatch on land and must immediately make for the ocean. It can be a long and perilous crawl, but sometimes they get a helping hand.
On the tiny Lankayan Island, located off the coast of Malaysian Borneo, groups of tourists and conservation experts bring buckets of hatchling sea turtles to the water's edge and watch as the animals race down the beach to get their flippers wet for their first time.
Vimeo user Leon Duplay in August captured footage one of these magical events and recently posted the video online. It's a pretty adorable sight.
Lankayan is part of the Sugud Islands Marine Conservation Area, a preservation project that covers an area of 288 square miles in the Sulu Sea. It is also home to the Lankayan Island Resort, which offers tourists the option of witnessing protected sea turtles nest, hatch and make their first foray into the ocean.
The World Wildlife Fund lists most sea turtle species as either endangered or critically endangered and names the destruction of nesting beaches as one of the biggest threats to the turtles' survival.
The fund also suggests that the support of ecotourism, which the Sugud conservation area is known for and the hatchlings' photography-happy friends seem to be taking part in, could have a major impact in pushing the species back from the brink.