4 min read

Leaving Holes In The Beach Can Be Dangerous For Turtles

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On Monday morning, one sea turtle found herself stuck between some sand and a hard place on the Blowing Rocks Preserve beach in area in Florida.

Turtle nesting season, which usually begins around early March and continues into late October, is currently in full swing in southern Florida. During this period, the shores of many beaches become a temporary home to female loggerheads, green turtles, leatherbacks, hawksbills and the endangered Kemp's ridley, who crawl and dig in sand in order to lay their eggs.

For one female loggerhead turtle, her journey onshore became more complicated than she probably anticipated. In the midst of crawling back to the sea, the turtle accidentally flipped herself upside down, becoming trapped between two rocks.

Staffers at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), along with the Nature Conservancy in Florida, sprung into action to rescue the distressed turtle.

"When the female loggerhead sea turtle was found on [her] back, that presented quite a challenge for the rescue team, given the size of such a large reptile," FWC wrote on Facebook.

Luckily for the female, she was picked up and flipped around. After that, it didn't take her long to crawl right back into the ocean, safe and sound.

Although in this situation, the turtle was caught in a natural limestone crevice, FWC used the rescue as an opportunity to point out an important way to make the summer a little easier for all of the sea turtles who are making trips onto the shore.

"This is a good reminder of how you can help nesting sea turtles by filling in any holes that you dig in the sand," FWC wrote on Facebook.

Nighttime beach activities by humans have the ability to stop female turtles from wanting to come on shore and nest entirely. In addition to potentially getting trapped in holes left by humans, turtles can also get caught in leftover beach equipment.

"People can help save threatened and endangered sea turtles by giving them enough space and privacy to safely and successfully lay their eggs," said Dr. Robbin Trindell, leader of FWC's sea turtle management program, in a press release. "It's as simple as keeping your distance and avoiding shining lights or taking flash photos of the nesting sea turtles."

Watch this video about a sea turtle in Kenya who was rescued from a fishing net: