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Update: Endangered sea turtle concerns grow as holiday beachgoers increase

Posted at 6:17 PM, Jul 03, 2019

BOCA RATON, Fla. — There’s new information after a video of what appears to be a disrupted endangered sea turtle nest on a Boca Raton Beach was posted on social media. Within the first 24-hours of the post the video has been viewed over 100,000 times on Twitter and counting. People who viewed the video say it highlights the dangers when humans and endangered species collide.

“It makes me feel very upset for someone to touch an animals’ nest and hurt their babies. It’s just really sad,” said Peter Komosinski, whose visiting from New Jersey.

According to a city spokesperson, 66 leatherback sea turtles hatched from eggs in a nest in the “middle of the day” near life guard tower number one. She says beachgoers seen in the video mistakenly thought they were going to die and poured water on the turtles before placing them in a bucket and under the tower. Twenty-two died.

Gumbo Limbo Nature Center was the first agency to respond. WPTV is told they’re caring for the remaining turtles. But the center didn’t want to talk about it. Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is now involved.

As for what to do if you spot sea turtles on a South Florida beach, knowledgeable beachgoers like Andrew Hammond whose visiting from Kentucky says, “You want to hopefully be here to see when they hatch and they make their way to the ocean – and I wouldn’t want to interrupt that or disrupt it for anybody.”

To report someone disturbing a sea turtle nest or an injured, dead or harassed sea turtle call Wildlife Alert 888-404-FWCC (888-404-3922) or report it online. Cellular phone users can also call *FWC or #FWC, or send a text to Tip@MyFWC.com.

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