Scuba diver hand feeds friendly Hawksbill turtle in Papua New Guinea

Hawksbill sea turtles are critically endangered. Hunted to near extinction earlier this century for their ornate shells, their numbers dwindled drastically. They have begun to make a comeback after laws were passed, prohibiting the killing and the trade of these beautiful creatures. But they are still rare enough that to see one on the reef is a real treat for scuba divers.

Kristy was diving in Papua New Guinea when she met this friendly little female who was looking among the coral for yellow sea sponges to eat. The turtle was particularly interested in Kristy and it began hanging around her and looking at her inquisitively.

Understanding the little turtle's hopes, she pried some sea sponge out from between the rocks on the bottom. She then had this adorable and friendly little girl eating right out of her hand. Kristy is a seasoned scuba diver who has dived in many tropical locations and she has seen many amazing things, but this magical encounter with this turtle was one of her most memorable dives ever.