Baby loggerhead sea turtle takes wrong turn after hatching, ending up in the wrong type of water

Rescued by Clearwater Marine Aquarium

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Armaretto was a newly hatched loggerhead sea turtle weighing just 23 grams.

"As an adult it can get up to 250 to 300 pounds," said Mike Anderson from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Before becoming an adult, the little guy must first make it out to sea, something he tried to do a week ago, hatching and crawling from his nest on Indiana Shores Beach. 

 

"When we found him, we were just out on our morning nesting patrol," Anderson said. It was on one of those patrols Anderson noticed hatchling tracks heading in the wrong direction. "He ended up finding his way into a swimming pool."

 

When the sea turtles hatch at night, they rely on the light from the stars and the moon to help direct them out to sea. But sometimes they don't make it. Instead, they get disoriented by artificial light from nearby condos and resorts.

 

"In some of our areas we have so much artificial lighting they get confused," Anderson said.

 

Amaretto is making a full recovery at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, learning how to swim and eat. He should be ready for release into the Gulf very soon. "We'll have to take him out by boat to find a weed line offshore and just let him go underneath there," Anderson said.

 

With so many predators, loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings only have a one in a thousand chance of survival. But there are some ways you can help.

 

"It's best to keep the beaches as dark as possible at night," Anderson said. "Turn off all unnecessary lights. Keep your blinds closed, and just keep any artificial light from reaching the beaches." 

 

It will give little guys like Armaretto a better chance at finding the right water on their own. 

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