Loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings have been washing up on the Jeffreys Bay beaches following the weekend’s rough seas.
Residents are urged to be aware that they are very young and weak – do not return them to the sea.
They need to go to Bayworld in Port Elizabeth for assessment and treatment before being released.
Any hatchlings found can be brought to the Wimpy at 9 Oosterland Street, care of Trumie Viljoen. Alternatively transport directly to Bayworld is the best course of action.
When contacted Dr. Ronel Nel, from the NMMU department of Zoology, had the following advice, “Keep them in sea water. Change the water regularly as the turtles produce quite a lot of waste.
Make sure that they can breath – in other words they are healthy enough to float on the surface and gulp air every now and again, otherwise keep the water level low enough so their heads can stick out and get them to Bayworld as soon as possible.”
Loggerhead sea turtles are classified as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
They are found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea. They spend most of their lives in saltwater and estuarine habitats, with females briefly coming ashore to lay eggs.
Loggerheads spend up to 85% of their day submerged, with males being the more active divers than females. The average duration of dives is 15–30 min, but they can stay submerged for up to four hours.