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Don't put them back! What to do if you find a stranded sea turtle

FWC at 888-404-3922
FWC at 888-404-3922

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.

Turn your lights out: It's turtle nesting season

"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."

About the Author:

Carianne Luter is a social media producer for News4Jax and has worked at Channel 4 since December 2015. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in communications.