By Coco Ballantyne
HIJO DEL SANTO is serious about defending sea turtle from poachers. Image: © WiLDCOAST
Showcasing more than fifty of the most provocative, original, and significant online essays from 2011, The Best Science Writing Online 2012 will change the way...
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Marine turtles are imperiled and Mexico's supreme wrestling star, El Hijo del Santo ("Son of the Saint"), is fighting on their behalf. A media magnet, he is using his influence to promote a campaign against eating sea turtles, a massive effort designed to persuade people in Mexico to protect rather than eat the turtles that visit their shores each year to spawn.
Populations of sea turtles have undergone a steep decline in the past 50 years, even though they are protected by the Mexican government and the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973.
Hijo del Santo has joined forces with WiLDCOAST, a California- and Mexico-based conservation group that works to protect the coastal ecosystems and wildlife in California and Latin America. Pumping up the public about environmental issues has not been easy, but WiLDCOAST, operating on a modest $800,000 annual budget, has managed to snag the attention of millions by tapping into popular culture.
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