While you're enjoying our beaches and waterways, it's always a good idea for keep an eye out for injured wildlife.
Gumbo Limbo’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility relies on the community to help us locate and respond to injured sea turtles. An injured sea turtle will likely have washed up on shore with visible injuries or entanglements, or it may be found floating in the water having difficulty swimming. During nesting season (March 1 - October 31), female sea turtles may be seen laying eggs near the dunes at night, mating adults may be spotted nearshore, or hatchlings may be seen making their way to the water, but they should all be left alone if uninjured.?
If you happen upon a sick or injured sea turtle, here are a few important things to know for how you can help!
#1 Give them space. While your initial instinct may be to get close and assist them yourself, do your best to stay back and do not touch the sea turtle. Advise others to do the same and keep beachgoers away for both the turtle’s and the person’s safety.
#2 Call for help. Stay within eyesight of the sea turtle and call Gumbo Limbo’s Sea Turtle Emergency Hotline, 561-212-8691, or Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Wildlife Hotline, 888-404-FWCC. Be prepared to answer questions about the turtle and your location.
#3 Take your time. Whether you are boating out in the ocean or in our waterways, keep your attention on the water. Wildlife like sea turtles and manatees live in shallow nearshore and intracoastal waters can surface unexpectedly. Following the speed limits helps protect these endangered species.