Coast KZN

28 Feb 2018

“Lost” baby turtles rescued

Elana Geist (North Coast Courier) Picture: The experts at Ushaka Sea World will do what they can to restore these two baby loggerhead turtles to full health. Note: Baby turtles are a protected species and should be handled as little as possible. These two are estimated to be a couple of days old and are quite weak.

More baby turtles could be expected to start hatching soon. Should you stumble across one on the beach, this is what you need to do.

Two recently hatched baby loggerhead turtles were found in distress on Dolphin Coast beaches by Specialised Rescue Unit members on Tuesday morning.

Colette Bodenstaff of the South African Association for Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR) said more baby turtles could be expected to start hatching soon.

“It is hatching season for Loggerheads and Leatherbacks. There is a chance that we will see hundreds more on the Dolphin Coast or none at all,” said Bodenstaff.

She said it was crucial to act correctly should you come across one of the babies.

“Do not place the turtle in the sea, tidal pool or in fresh water. Hatchlings found on the beach may be very weak and struggle to raise their heads, so they will drown if placed in water. Carefully place the turtle on a wet, clean towel in a small, open container and phone Ushaka Sea World.”

She said as turtles are reptiles, you should keep the turtle at room temperature and not near an aircon. Also avoid touching them and do not try to feed them or make a lot of noise around them.

“Turtles are a protected species and a special permit or permission is required to have one in your possession.”

If you find a turtle, contact Ushaka Sea World at 031-3288222 during office hours or 031-328060 after hours and they will liaise with the KZM Marine Animal Stranding Network on the quickest way to get the turtle to uShaka Sea World.