WATCH: rare olive ridley turtles hatch and head for the sea

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FOR the first time, footage of endangered olive ridley turtle hatchings has been captured in WA.

Dozens of the hatchlings have been filmed making their way down to the ocean from their nest in the Kimberley.

Department of Parks and Wildlife staff came across the nest while removing marine debris from a beach near Lalang-garram/Camden Sound Marine Park, 300km north-east of Broome.

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The Department’s marine ranger Cameron Smith recorded the event with Dambimangari traditional owner Kieran Bangmorra.

“This species has never before been filmed in WA and rarely anywhere else in Australia,” Environment Minister Albert Jacob said.

“It has only recently been discovered that olive ridley turtles nest in WA and they have never before been recorded from the beach where they were filmed.

“They are extremely scarce, so to witness this hatchling event is significant and helps to increase scientists’ understanding of the species in Australia.”

The olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) is the smallest of Australia’s sea turtles and only grows to about 70 centimetres long.