ACAPULCO, Mexico – World No. 39 Alize Cornet of France joined on Wednesday a group of tennis players who participated in the release of some 200 Olive Ridley turtles on the beach of Acapulco, the venue for the ongoing Mexican Open tennis tournament.
Before sunset, nearly 300 people gathered on the beach to witness the release of turtles, which were born early on Tuesday, into the sea in a ceremony that lasted about half an hour.
Cornet, her compatriots Pauline Parmentier, Amandine Hesse, and Germany’s Tatjana Maria participated in the turtle’s release after their elimination from the Open on Tuesday.
Marine biologist, Georgina Saad, coordinator of the Priority Marine Species Program of the World Wildlife Fund Mexico, told EFE that the idea of releasing the turtles in the afternoon was aimed at protecting them from birds, crabs and other predators on their way out to sea.
Saad estimates that of every 1,000 specimens that reach the sea, only one will see adulthood, highlighting the need to ensure the species’ survival.
The Olive Ridley turtles released on Wednesday come from the Playa Larga camp, some 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) from Acapulco, where some 288,000 turtles have been released during the past four years.
Two more releases will take place on Thursday and Friday.
The Mexican Open tennis tournament concludes on Saturday.