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U.S. Ends Importing of Endangered Turtles

July 23, 1993|Associated Press

HOUSTON — Officials have blocked a 15-year-old program aimed at boosting the numbers of endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtles by importing hatchlings from Mexico to Galveston, Tex.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Washington this week denied a permit to continue importing the animals from their only known nesting beach in Mexico. More than 22,000 have been raised at a Galveston lab since 1978 in hopes that holding them until they were yearlings would give them a better chance of survival.

A National Marine Fisheries Service spokesman at Galveston said the decision likely means the end of the program. He said its effectiveness had not been proved.

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