Tens of thousands of baby turtles popped out of the sand and waddled toward the ocean on Friday (November 15) at a Pacific beach in the Mexican province of Oaxaca.
The beach, known as Playa de Morro, is an important breeding ground for the Olive Ridley turtles, a species making a comeback after populations suffered over hunting.
Adult females Olive Ridleys lay their eggs on some 120 beaches in Mexico, but the biggest numbers go to Morro Ayuta and nearby Escobilla in Oaxaca.
The turtles lay around 100 eggs per breed with a 45-day gestation period.
During November and December, millions of baby turtles are born here and reach the ocean for first time.
"We're estimating that, in these three or four days, some three to five million young will be born which represents approximately 30 to 50 percent of hatchlings on this beach," said coordinator for the Morro Ayuta's turtle camp, Guillermo Gonzalez.
Over 20 years ago, the Mexican government implemented ecological plans to protect the sea turtles, including establishing conservation areas and paying local residents to protect turtle nests.
Just halfway through the hatching season, biologist Marino Alcantara expects the number of newborns this year to top 2012's hatchlings.
"How many are there? Last year we had a report of around 20 million young and we're hoping for a little more because last year we had four to five million and we already have four million and it's just half way through the season," he said.
Mexico has several species of turtle, and they are typically ravaged by natural predators, erratic weather and human hunters seeking their meat and eggs.
Olive Ridley turtles, found in the Americas and Asia, are listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, although their numbers seem to be rising in the Pacific because of conservation measures.