Sunday 14 July 2019

Hundreds of sea turtle hatchlings steal the show in Florida during America’s birthday – via Herp Digest

by Michelle Marchante, Miami Herald
JULY 05, 2019

to see video.

Hundreds of baby sea turtles were spotted making their way to the ocean during the prime hours of America’s birthday in Fernandina Beach in North Florida and it was all caught on camera.

Becky Finsness, who recorded the video, has lived in the area for 30 years and has never had a Fourth of July quite like this one.

“It was awesome to watch these little guys make their way to the ocean,” Finsness told the Miami Herald. “After seeing this I was like, ‘What fireworks?’”

She wasn’t the only one. In the video, beachgoers can be heard exclaiming their surprise, with some calling it a “miracle” and others cheering on the little babies as they quickly waddled to the water.

At one point, at least one of the turtles can be seen going the wrong way before changing course and heading to the sea.

While this unexpected show left those at the beach full of wonder, it is a dangerous time for the little critters.

Hatchlings normally wait until nighttime to begin their trek, in hopes of avoiding predators or overheating, but everything in their path is an obstacle — from footprints to driftwood, according to SEE Turtles, an independent nonprofit based in Beaverton, Oregon, whose goal is to protect the species through ecotourism.

Once the turtles enter the water, they begin a “swimming frenzy” to get away from the shore and its potential predators. Their whereabouts will be unknown for up to a decade, but experts estimate only 1 in 1,000 hatchlings will survive to adulthood.

If they make it to adulthood, some can live for up to 50 years or more, according to the World Wildlife Fund, the world’s conservation organization.

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