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Sea Turtle Release Reminder For Labor Day Beach Patrons to Respect Wildlife

September 1st, 2017 by Jake Stofan

Two loggerhead turtles are being released back into the waters of the Florida Panhandle Friday night.

They were nursed back to heath after at least one of them ate man made debris, and it’s a lesson for all of us on what not to do this weekend.

Joker and Amazon, the two loggerhead sea turtles are get a scrub down so they can look their best for their big return into the Gulf.

The female turtles have just  finished a five month rehabilitation.

Both were suffering from intestinal blockages, one of which was caused by human trash, along with other illnesses.

 

“They were so far down they were going to die. These turtles were definitely, I would predict that if we didn’t do what we were going to do those would be dead turtles,” said Jack Rudloe with the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab.

With Labor Day weekend upon us, the weekend will be the last hurrah for many Floridans and tourists to flock to the beaches.

That means they’ll be entering the nesting grounds for these sea turtles, as well as for a number of other coastal species.

 

“If you happen to see that on the beach leave the turtles alone. Don’t interfere with them don’t pick them up. Let them get down to the water, take their chances in the world,” said Rudloe.

Sea turtle nests in Florida are usually well-marked, but other nests could be harder to spot.

 

“The birds are often very well camouflaged with the beach so you can look into a posted area and say oh it’s empty there’s nothing there, but really those chicks are there and they’re vulnerable,” said Julie Wraithmell with Audubon Florida.

Another rule of thumb is to make sure you pick up any trash you may create while enjoying your day at the beach.

Plastic litter easily makes its way back into the ocean and can harm sea turtles and other ocean life.

 

“Pick up your trash and also don’t feed the wildlife,” said Wraithmell.

Despite temptations to interact with wildlife at the beach, animal conservationists say it’s important to enjoy the animals from a distance.

If you follow these rules, sea turtles like Joker and Amazon will have the best opportunity to thrive in Florida’s waters.

Amazon and Joker successfully made it back to the Gulf of Mexico around 5 pm Friday evening.

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