By Dr. Wallace J. Nichols
Fifteen years ago the hawksbill sea turtle pictured would have been hog-tied, whisked hundreds of miles, slaughtered and carved into trinkets.
Today, he swam free.
On Baja’s Pacific coast, an adult male hawksbill sea turtle found its way into a fisherman’s net. In the past, for the fisherman anyway, such a thing would have been considered a stroke of good luck. The endless demand for turtle meat, eggs, skin and shell on the black market can provide a nice payday to anyone willing to endure the low-level risk of being caught.
Hawksbill turtles, once common, are now increasingly rare due to decades of being hunted for their beautiful shells, which get carved into combs, broaches, and other adornments.…