ENGLEWOOD, Fla. (WFLA) — A dramatic turtle rescue was caught on camera in Englewood Beach. The video shows a nesting loggerhead sea turtle, who was lost far from the water. Volunteers teamed up to get her home.
Shortly before 7 a.m. on May 18, guests at the WannaB Inn in Englewood noticed a strange guest wandering around the hotel.
The turtle had meandered between chairs and trees. She then wandered down a sidewalk, entered and exited an alley, walked across a parking lot and ended at a building before she was
“She was just ultimately exhausted from the long crawl that she had done,” Barb Tapp with the Coastal Wildlife Club said. “When I first walked up she wasn’t moving and that concerned me, but then she raised her head a bit, and I thought, ‘At least she’s alive.’”
Jill Auman is another volunteer with Coastal Wildlife Club. “It’s really sad when you see something like that happen when they’re out of their natural environment,” Auman said.
Loggerhead sea turtles are listed as threatened in the United States. It was vital to get this one home. Seven people, including turtle rescuers and hotel guests, took a large tarp and led the turtle onto it.
They then hoisted her off, walking to the water. “Obviously, she wasn’t real happy to be in the tarp,” Tapp said.
It’s unclear why the turtle had become so disoriented. Adult female loggerheads only leave the water to lay eggs.
“This turtle probably hasn’t been back to this beach for 25 years. This whole environment has changed,” Auman said.
The rescuers say a sea wall probably played a big part in confusing the turtle. Over the years beach erosion has exposed more of the wall. Because of this, the turtle probably couldn’t tell where the water was.
After the group of volunteers let her go, it was mission accomplished.
“It’s always good to know you did the right thing and helped save one,” Auman said.
“It was very much a relief,” Tapp added.
With a little help, this mother finally found her way home.
Seeing a nesting turtle is an awesome sight, but officials say don’t approach them. Instead, be silent and still like a statue, and watch them from afar. If they do get into trouble like this one did, don’t help them yourself. Call FWC or a similar wildlife agency.