Nesting sea turtle dies after being hit by vehicle, officials say
OUTER BANKS, N.C. (Gray News) – A nesting sea turtle in North Carolina was struck by a vehicle and later euthanized, wildlife officials said.
According to the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles, or NEST, the loggerhead sea turtle was hit by a vehicle in the early morning hours on Sunday.
The turtle was taken to the STAR Center at the N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island to receive emergency care, but its injuries were so severe that it was humanely euthanized, NEST said.
Thankfully, responding volunteers were able to locate the turtle’s nest, and they were able to protect the eggs. NEST said the turtle laid more than 100 eggs.
The organization is reminding people to drive carefully on beaches at night.
“Protected nests have perimeters marked with reflective tape,” NEST said in a Facebook post. “Nesting and hatching season continue through September. Please follow the posted speed limits, scan the beach carefully in front of your vehicle, and give wildlife space.”
Sea turtles are protected by the Endangered Species Act. Punishments for destruction of sea turtles or of their nests can result in up to six months in prison or up to $25,000 in fines.
NEST is asking anyone with information about this hit-and-run to contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Enforcement Hotline at 844-397-8477.
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