Ponce Inlet, FL-Melissa Ranly says she’ll call back because she has a “patient” on the table. Ranly is the turtle expert at the Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet and, when she returns the call, she confirms they’ve gotten 10 to 12 new sea turtle patients recently tossed ashore by strong onshore winds and rough surf conditions.
Ranly says what happens in the kinds of heavy surf conditions here recently is that turtles already hurt or weakened by illness end up pushed ashore by the strong surf and says that’s when beachgoers need to let FWC, MSC or a Beach Safety officer know a turtle needs help. Ranly says often people guide the turtle back into the surf thinking they are helping and says that’s not best for the turtle. Ranly points out that the turtle is already weak if it ends up on the beach when it’s not a nesting female and it needs professional attention at that point.
If you find an injured or sick sea turtle stranded at the beach or on a boat, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-FWCC.
Ranly says the turtle facility at MSC currently has about 26 patients which is pretty full for the space there.
MSC is holding it’s annual Turtle Day event Saturday. The event information is here.
The photo with this article is of a 123-pound loggerhead turtle that washed up in Ormond Beach recently and is currently being cared for at the MSC. Photo courtesy of VCBSOR.
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