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Northglen News recently caught up with senior aquarist, Leanna Botha from uShaka Marine World who works with and rehabilitates sea turtles at the aquarium to find out what to do when you come across a hatchling. This after a baby loggerhead turtle washed up on eMdloti’s shores. Despite the best intentions of the Good Samaritan, the reptile later died of natural causes.
What to do when you see turtles or hatchlings
1. If you are walking along beach and you encounter turtle call us 031 328 8222. Depending on the size approach the turtle cautiously, not that they are aggressive but larger turtles can bite. It is also best to keep dogs and people away. We’d advise people to take a photos of the turtle and send it to us to ID so that we can prep for when we are collecting.
2. If it is a young hatchling take extra care as they are stressed very easily. What we would advise is to put the hatchling in a container with a little bit of water and put the container in a shaded area while monitoring it.
3. Generally if a hatchling is washed up its not doing well. What they would need is a tiny bit of fresh water which helps get the barnacles off and rehydrates them. It is imperative that the water level is low enough to allow the turtle to breath air without lifting its head out the water.
4. Most importantly don’t put stranded turtles back in the ocean.