Turtle Nest Damaged in Orange Beach

Turtle Nest Damaged in Orange Beach

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ORANGE BEACH, Alabama -

"Oh look at em all," it's an event that makes this part of the gulf coast unique. "Look at all of them," once you see a sea turtle nest hatch it's something you will always remember. 

"It's just precious and just hard to believe. You have to see it to appreciate it," says Larue Sumrell he saw a hatching on the east coast.

Almost 200 people got to appreciate it Sunday night at Cotton Bayou in Orange Beach as more than 100 loggerhead turtles made their way to the gulf. "They're so tiny and it's such a long way for such a small creature just to get from the nest to the water," says Jeff Lewis visiting from Indiana.

Sometime after the hatching, someone decided to do a little digging of their own according to Mike Reynolds with Share the Beach. "Someone actually tried to dig down in the predator screen, down into the nest. We could see their hand prints ,footprints. We know they were in there."

Sea turtles are federally protected. "You cannot own a sea turtle shell. You can't have an egg, a hatchling, anything without a permit. It's a hundred thousand dollar fine and possible imprisonment," says Reynolds.

The nest is still protected. Signs posted warn of federal penalties and volunteers will be back to make sure any turtles remaining in the nest make it safely to the gulf.

"Very disappointing somebody would do such a thing," says Lewis.

"I can't imagine someone so small that's the only way they can get a thrill," says Sumrell.

Tomorrow night volunteers will be back at the nest. They will excavate the nest and see if there are any eggs left, any hatchlings and then they'll know if anything was taken.

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