WATCH: Floridians, Here's What to Do If You See a Sea Turtle Washed Ashore After Hurricane Dorian
Important information to help these special animals.
Those adorable, green ocean creatures we all love so dearly—sea turtles—need our help in Florida as Hurricane Dorian surges North to the Carolinas.
So what should you do if you see an injured sea turtle or sea turtle hatchlings on the shore? As tempting as it is, don't move or even touch the animals. Instead, per USA TODAY, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-3922 to alert them of your findings. You might think it's best to return these beloved sea turtles to sea, but they often can be too tired or injured to survive in the water after making it through an intense storm
"The state also cherishes our beloved wildlife and have very efficient procedures in place to save as many animals as possible," Quintin Bergman, Indian River County's sea turtle specialist, told the news outlet, "These experienced wildlife biologists will instruct the public as to which actions can be done over the phone."
It's equally important to stress that you shouldn't touch sea turtle nests either. While sea turtles flourish in other areas, Florida is said to account for 90% of our country's sea turtle nests, via the Orlando Sentinel, and so many eggs have likely been impacted by the storm. Just as when you encounter a sea turtle or baby sea turtle, if you find displaced eggs, call the hotline to report your discovery.
With Hurricane Dorian, it's an all hands on deck effort to save these animals, so Florida residents in the Space Coast can also call the Sea Turtle Preservation Society's 24/7 emergency hotline at 1-321-206-0646. Read their guidelines for helping turtles during weather events here.
At this point, it's too early to tell how much of an impact Hurricane Dorian has had on the Florida sea turtle population, but remember, every turtle or nest you avoid touching could be another precious sea turtle spared from the storm's wrath.