A scene from Sunday’s episode of “Planet Earth II,” featuring disoriented baby sea turtles facing near-certain doom, was almost too much for some viewers to handle. Fortunately, the BBC has revealed there’s no reason to fear for the little turtles’ well-being.
The emotionally wrought segment showed numerous just-hatched hawksbill sea turtles making their way to the sea — and ended up focusing on the tiny hatchlings that had become disoriented by bright city lights.
After young turtles hatch, they use the light of the moon as their guide to the water, Attenborough explains in the clip. But bright manmade lights can confuse the hatchlings. Four out of five of the critters become disoriented and die from perils like falling down drains or being run over by cars, Attenborough said, according to the Telegraph. And hawksbill turtles, which inhabit warm tropical waters, are critically endangered.
Viewers were understandably upset, and some were outraged that anyone could witness such a scene without helping the little reptiles.
But as it turns out, people did help. The Barbados Sea Turtle Project, a local conservation group, assisted the camera crew filming the turtles, according to the BBC. And when the TV crew finished filming, members of the group stepped in to aid the hatchlings into the water.
The BBC also shared some footage showcasing the work of the group, which rescues thousands of turtles every year. If, like many people on Twitter, you think saving sea turtles sounds like the most awesome thing ever, you can find out more about donating and volunteering with the Barbados Sea Turtle Project here and here.