Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Police Officer Saves 100 Baby Sea Turtles From Certain Death

Remember the cop who responded to a “vicious dog” call and ended up making a new best friend? Here’s another story of a very cool cop, who went out of his way to help some tiny turtle newborns.

Florida police officer Derek Conley, from Sarasota, saved nearly 100 baby sea turtles when he gathered the newly hatched creatures from a hotel parking lot and street, put them in a cardboard box (see above), and released them into the Gulf of Mexico.

Conley was on patrol at 1 a.m. on August 3, when he noticed a baby sea turtle crawling toward the front door of Sarasota’s Lido Beach Resort. A passerby told him that he’d seen more hatchlings in the parking lot.

When he checked up, he saw that there were dozens more turtles swarming toward the hotel. He grabbed a cardboard box, and with the help of some of the hotel’s guests, he gathered up the slow-moving creatures from the parking lot and surrounding streets, stopping the traffic a few times in the process.

Conley delivered the turtles back to the beach and across the water line, effectively saving their little lives.

Turtles have been in the news recently: it turns out that many of them are dying because they are chewing on discarded plastic bags, which they mistake for jellyfish.

These sea turtle hatchlings are much luckier, thanks to this caring man.

Conley spotted three dead turtles, according to a news release, but he estimates that 90-100 were saved.

All sea turtles are protected by the federal Endangered Species Act and the Florida Marine Protection Act, and it is against the law to touch or disturb nesting sea turtles, hatchlings or their nests. However Conley checked with two marine rescue groups, who verified that these creatures were clearly in distress, and not helping them would have made their situation even worse.

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