PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Beachgoers in Northwest Florida got a special treat Tuesday when a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle made its way on-shore to lay a nest.
“She dug a hole about 1.5 to 2 feet deep and when she got down in the hole she laid about 50-100 eggs. She used her flippers to cover the eggs with sand so you can’t see them and then she headed back to the water. She may come back up. Some of them come back up two or three times laying eggs and then they are exhausted and they go back home for two or three years. It’s kinda cool.”Brenda Sexton, sea turtle volunteer
Hatchlings are expected about 60 days after the nest is laid. Volunteers set up a barrier to protect the nest from preying animals and vandals.
Pensacola Beach has recorded two loggerhead nests so far. Kemps Ridley is listed as an endangered species of sea turtle.
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Help Protect Sea Turtles in Escambia County:
- Lights Out! Female turtles prefer dark, quiet beaches for nesting and hatchlings need dark skies to find the Gulf of Mexico. Leave the flashlights and cell phones at home or use a red flashlight when on the beach at night. Turn off beach-facing lights and close windows and curtains to keep our beaches dark.
- Leave No Trace! Remove all furniture and toys from the beach when you’re done for the day, including hammocks, tents, canopies, chairs, toys and sports equipment.
- Stow It, Don’t Throw it! Trash and food waste can entangle turtles and other wildlife and attract unwanted predators. Always dispose of trash in the proper receptable and refrain from feeding wildlife.
- If you dig holes in the sand, fill them in before you leave the beach.
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