Tourists called ‘idiots’ for digging up 68 baby sea turtles on Florida beach

WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:

  • A group of tourists has been called ‘idiots’ for digging up baby leatherback sea turtles on a Florida beach then putting them in a bucket filled with wet sand after their nest was destroyed.
  • A communications manager for the city of Boca Raton said that the group of tourists was only concerned that the turtles would die in the heat, calling the incident as ignorant but not malicious.
  • Interfering with a sea turtle nest during development could put them in significant harm and endanger the sea turtle population.

A group of tourists has been called ‘idiots’ slammed for disturbing turtles’ nest by digging up 68 baby turtles on a Florida beach.

An alarming video of the incident shows the tourists putting the baby leatherback sea turtles in a bucket filled with wet sand after their nest was destroyed.

The footage shows a young boy digging next to a closed-off nest while being surrounded by onlookers. Beachgoers and even lifeguards watch beside the boy. The video was captured by WSVN reporter Andrew Dymburt and was shared on social media.

According to Dymburt, there were signs which read “Do Not Touch” but the “idiot” tourists still chose to dig up a three-foot deep hole and place the baby turtles in a bucket, the Miami Herald reported.

Interfering with a sea turtle nest during development could put them in significant harm and endanger the sea turtle population.

“Sea turtle eggs if they are rotated at any time during development will die,” Dr. Justin Perrault, director of research for the Loggerhead Marinelife Centre, said. “If the infraction is bad enough it can be thousands of dollars worth of fines and jail time.”

Chrissy Gibson, communications manager for the city of Boca Raton, said that the group of tourists was only concerned that the turtles would die in the heat. Gibson described the incident as ignorant but not malicious. The Miami Herald reported that the nest is one of several monitored along the five miles of Boca Raton beach by the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center.

“It was not done maliciously,” Gibson said. But, “It’s important to remember, never interfere with sea turtle nesting activity or a sea turtle hatchout.”

“If you are concerned about a sea turtle or hatchling, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and please remember — never touch a sea turtle,” she added.

 

Source: New York Post

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