Hawksbill sea turtles are critically endangered. They are a rare and beautiful sight for scuba divers and a joy to photograph or video. Their shells are ornate, making them among the most beautiful of all the sea turtles. This is why they have been hunted so vigorously, causing their populations to decline to a critically low number. But conservation efforts and more enforcement of hunting restrictions has caused their numbers to slowly recover over the past few decades.
It is now illegal in most countries to hunt these beautiful turtles. It is also a serious offence to transport or import their shells. This alone has caused a great decline in the number that are killed for profit.
This little Hawksbill was seen cruising over the coral reef. He spotted a scuba diver from far away and he swam straight for him as curious about the human hanging around on his reef. The scuba diver was taking a break and watching two octopus nearby. He saw his little turtle friend approaching and welcomed him with open arms. The turtle seems to be very unconcerned with the diver and he circles him before settling in behind him as if he also wanted to see what had captured the diver's attention.
Sea turtles are not usually likely to approach humans. They will often swim away. Hawksbills in particular, are shy and reclusive. Having an animal approach so calmly while visiting their domain makes for a very memorable experience.