JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It's a human instinct to try and save the life on an animal that appears it is in distress, but the Florida Wildlife Commission has a warning for beachgoers who stumble upon a stranded sea turtle.
Florida Sea Turtle Watch, a Facebook group to help inform beachgoers, said three reports of washed-ashore sea turtles were reported recently in Florida. Unfortunately, they were put back into the Ocean by beachgoers before FWC was notified.
"Beached Sea Turtles are in need of Medical Attention ASAP!! So please Do NOT put them back into the Ocean & you should report it to FWC," the sea turtle group said.
If you see a sea turtle that appears to be hurt or unable to get back to the water, call FWC at 888-404-3922.
"If a marine animal ends up stranded on a beach, there’s usually a reason for it. There’s a good chance they’re sick or injured, and they’re too physically exhausted to save themselves. Putting them back in the water usually just means they’ll end up washing up a bit further down the beach, or they’ll get got by a predator in their weakened state. It’s always best to get them checked out. In some cases, they may just be exhausted and dehydrated and can be safely released after a day or two of TLC. In other cases, they may need higher-level medical intervention. This goes for the dolphins and small whales which occasionally wash up here as well."
Thursday, May 23, is also "world turtle day."