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Watch out for stranded turtle hatchlings, Western Cape beachgoers urged

Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation has urged beachgoers to be on the look out for sea turtle hatchlings.


Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation has urged beachgoers to be on the look out for sea turtle hatchlings.

  • Annually, sea turtle hatchlings wash up on Western Cape beaches.
  • The Two Oceans Aquarium has requested beachgoers to assist in rescuing them.
  • Without the support of the public, hundreds of sea turtles would have died over the years.

Tired, dehydrated and cold, stranded turtle hatchlings rely on kind-hearted beachgoers to ensure they survive.

And as the time comes when these baby turtles are most likely to be washed up on Western Cape shores, the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation has urged beachgoers to be on the lookout for them.

The sea turtle hatchlings wash up on Western Cape beaches annually, after they are carried astray by strong currents, said the foundation in a statement.

“This is an annual occurrence as loggerhead sea turtles hatch on the beaches of northern KwaZulu-Natal and are then carried south by the Agulhas current. Due to injury, dehydration and hypothermia, some of these hatchlings unfortunately wash up onto the beaches around the Western Cape,” it added.

sea turtle

Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation has urged beachgoers to be on the look out for sea turtle hatchlings.

This year’s “stranding season” has so far been particularly quiet, and the foundation has called on beachgoers to “keep their eyes open for these tiny hatchlings”.

“Nearly all of the sea turtles brought to the aquarium for rehabilitation are rescued by caring members of the public. Without the support of the public and those making use of the local beaches, hundreds of sea turtles would have died over the years,” the statement said.

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Should you come across a hatchling on the beach do not place it back in the water, the foundation cautioned.

Instead, place the hatchling in a dry container, with air holes and a dry towel, and keep it out of direct sunlight and wind. Then contact your nearest Turtle Rescue Network Point or phone 083 300 1663 for instructions.

“Even when not making use of the beaches, we can all be sea turtle rescuers by making better environmental choices. Choosing to use less plastic in your everyday life can make a big difference to sea turtles as the majority of those brought in to be rehabilitated by the aquarium foundation are found to have ingested plastic. And for many, this is a death sentence,” the statement said.


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