Six Endangered Turtle Hatchlings Found In Hotel Trash Can

July 29th, 2018

Finding human babies in a hotel trash can would be horrifyingly alarming. And so should finding non-human babies, like turtle hatchlings.

However, some people fail to recognize that humans aren’t the only creatures that were put on this earth and deserve a right to live.

That’s why there are so many species of animals that are endangered and close to becoming extinct on this earth. One of those species is the loggerhead sea turtle.

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NPS Photo Source: NPS Photo

The oceanic turtle is considered to be vulnerable on the threatened species spectrum. The loggerhead sea turtle was hunted intensely for their meat and eggs before worldwide legislation was set in place to protect the species.

Some are still hunted in areas where legislation isn’t enforced.

Their species is also threatened by fishing gear and plastic pollution in oceans which they ingest. Artifical lighting and the destruction and encroachment of their habitats also have led to a decline in their populations.

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Naples Herald Source: Naples Herald

The Federal Endangered Species Act prevents people from touching loggerheads without a permit.

Those who violate the law can be fined between $100 and $1o,500.

But two tourists from Kentucky either didn’t know or ignored this when they were visiting Tybee Island in Georgia. Their housekeeper at the Admiral’s Inn found six live loggerhead hatchlings in their room in a water-filled waste bin while they were out of their hotel room.

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Sea Turtle Exploration Source: Sea Turtle Exploration

The couple was apparently intoxicated when they picked up the sea turtles from the beach, placed them in a cup, and took them to their room.

They told police that other beachgoers were attempting to “grab turtles” as the hatchlings crawled toward the ocean.

So, they took the turtles and planned to take the babies to the Tybee Island Marine Science Center at the end of the day. After the police were called the turtles were picked up by the Tybee Island Marine Science Center.

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Tybee Island Marine Science Center Source: Tybee Island Marine Science Center

Five were placed back in the ocean and one was taken to the Marine Center. That hatchling will be kept at the center for two years.

That turtle is currently quarantined but can be seen on the behind-the-scenes tour.

The baby turtle will be transferred to the main gallery in about three weeks.

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Tybee Island Source: Tybee Island

“We want to do it as quickly as possible so they have their hormonal boost to get them out to the Sargasso Sea and it’s not wasted swimming in our tank,” Chantal Audran, curator of the Tybee Island Marine Science Center, told the Savannah Morning News.

Public Affairs Officer for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Mark McKinnon told The Island Packet that the investigation of the couple is still ongoing and they have yet to determine whether charges will be filed.

You can watch a video of the five loggerhead hatchlings being released into the ocean in the video below.

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Source: Savannah Morning News & savannahnow.com