<p>A worker feeds pieces of octopus to a young <a href="http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/11533/0">Kemp's ridley sea turtle</a>. This turtle recently had stomach surgery and didn't have much of an appetite, so it had to be fed by hand.</p>

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A worker feeds pieces of octopus to a young Kemp's ridley sea turtle. This turtle recently had stomach surgery and didn't have much of an appetite, so it had to be fed by hand.

Photograph by Esther Horvath

8 Pictures From Inside Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehab

To save endangered sea turtles, people are finding eggs, raising hatchlings, and releasing them into the wild.

Raising babies is hard, but bringing up the babies of endangered species—like sea turtles—is something else. Normal worries over whether your young charges are eating enough or growing up healthy are compounded by the knowledge that they could get eaten on their way to the beach, drowned in fishing gear, or caught by poachers.

But staff and volunteers around the world continue their work because sea turtles can use all the help they can get, especially Kemp's ridley turtles, the world's most endangered sea turtle.

Summer is hatching season for Kemp's ridleys, and so workers have their hands full right now ensuring the newborns get out to the ocean safely. "We're working day and night, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week," says Donna Shaver, chief of the sea turtle science and recovery program at Padre Island National Seashore in Texas.

So if you've ever wondered what it was like to work with adorable, and endangered, animals, flip through the following behind-the-scenes pictures of rescues, rehabilitation, and releases.

Follow Jane J. Lee on Twitter.

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