A Cautionary Tale from Our Stranding Team

posted: June 20, 2022, 11:59 AM

Sharing a report from our Stranding Team. On Thursday evening June 16 at 10:30 p.m. our Stranding Team got a phone call on our emergency telephone regarding a turtle on the beach. The team arrived to find a mother turtle laying eggs. When she was done covering the eggs instead of heading back into the water, the mother turtle headed toward the homes and past the sand fence. Team members reported that there were several houses in the area that had bright lights both inside and out. Mother turtles look for the brightness of the waves the show them where to go and the bright lights on the houses caused her to turn in the wrong direction. She ran into the fence several times and even got her flipper caught in the fence. The team began guiding the turtle toward the water. She turned around several times trying to go toward the houses. The team reported that it was "very frustrating and they felt very sad for the momma."

With the HBTP help she eventually got into the water. Without their help she may have gotten under a house and possibly gotten trapped.

This isn't the first time this has happened on our beach this summer, please remember between May and October, once the sun goes down, turn off all outdoor lights and indoor lights in rooms that face the beach. If you need the lights on inside, make sure you have "black-out curtains" and shut them to keep the light from shining out. Please also check that the lights in carports are turned off. The same thing can happen later in the season when seeing bright lights, hatchlings head into the dunes instead of toward the ocean.

This was nest #25 on the beach this summer.

Photo the morning rider took of the sunrise the following morning.

Also, don't forget Turtle Talk starts next week on June 29. This year it will be held at the Holden Beach Chapel.

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