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Planet Earth 2 filmmakers defied convention to save every last baby turtle

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Planet Earth 2 has proven to be the breakout television success of 2016, with thousands of viewers tuning in from all over the world to watch Sir David Attenborough’s breath-taking nature documentary.

However the series finale, Cities, proved to be very difficult to watch.

In an incredibly important scene, a plethora of newly-hatched baby turtles, disorientated by city lights in Barbados, found themselves unable to make their way safely to the sea.

Instead, they crawled towards the busy roads of the nearby urban districts, mistaking them for the bright moonlight on the ocean – and slowly worked their way towards almost certain death.


Read more: The making of Planet Earth


At home, viewers watched in horror as the camera crew found dozens of hatchlings crushed on the road.

Four in every five hawksbill turtles, Attenborough revealed, will fail to survive their first night; instead, they lose their way and wander into busy traffic, dry out in the sand, are eaten by cats, or fall down storm drains.

As a result, the future of the species is in peril.

The scenes, while upsetting, were incredibly important for viewers to see, as they highlight an important need for change.

As Attenborough said himself: “It is surely our responsibility to do everything in our power to create a planet that provides a home, not just for us, but for all life on Earth.”


Read more: This Japanese island is populated by thousands of fluffy rabbits


However the BBC has now revealed that Planet Earth 2 film crews decided to flout rules set by Attenborough himself, which requests that they “look and not interfere”.

Instead of allowing nature to run its course, they intervened to rescue as many baby turtles as they possibly could.

“Every turtle that was seen or filmed by the #PlanetEarth2 crew was collected and put back into the sea,” they confirmed on Twitter.

According to The Telegraph, a BBC source added that, in this instance, the problem was “man-made”; as such, it was incredibly appropriate that man stepped in to help solve it.

For those worried about baby turtles yet to hatch, the BBC also shared a short film documentary which documented the outstanding efforts of local conservationists at the Barbados Sea Turtle Project.

Those involved with the project work tirelessly to rescue as many baby turtles as possible, fishing them out of drains and carefully steering them back to the oceans where they belong.

However they can’t do it all by themselves.

Speaking from the heart, Carla Daniel, the organisation’s deputy field director, has issued a plea to all those watching at home to get up and do something to help the world around them.

“If there was one single thing that I would say is necessary for change, it’s for you to get up, go out of your house, and do something,” she said.

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