Endangered sea turtle shares meal with beautiful queen angle fish

Hawksbill sea turtles are among the most breath takingly beautiful animals in the ocean. Their gorgeous shell and their graceful movements make them a delight for scuba divers to see. They are very rare, having had their populations decimated by over harvesting for meat, eggs, and for the cosmetic appeal of their patterned shells. Through conservation efforts and stricter laws, the hawksbills are making a slow comeback. This magnificent turtle was found on the reef near Turneffe Caye in Belize. It was cruising along over the coral near a few delighted scuba divers who marveled at its slow and beautiful swimming. The divers kept pace with the turtle and approached slowly and respectfully to get a close look as it selected patches of yellow sponge to snack on. While eating the sponge, chunks broke free and drifted up from the coral, allowing a strikingly coloured queen angel fish to feed on the scraps. The turtle is unconcerned with the fish, as it is with the divers. It has learned that scuba divers will cause it no harm. Most sea life quickly recognize that a clumsy and slow moving human will not present a danger to them. This gorgeous animal calmly fed on the sponge while the divers positioned their cameras on the bottom to record the spectacle. After a few moments, the turtle gracefully lifted off and swam along the reef looking for more. The divers followed briefly and then turned away to allow the turtle to go off on its own. An encounter with such a beautiful creature in its own environment is an unforgettable experience.

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