70 percent of sea turtle hatchlings are dying on Anna Maria Island due to condo lighting

ANNA MARIA ISLAND, Fla. — Baby sea turtles on Anna Maria Island are dying because they’re getting lost.  

Anna Maria turtle watch volunteers estimate about 70 percent of this year’s babies are getting lost because they are following lighting from condos and homes.

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“If they get distracted by light, they are going to head right into the dunes. They’ve only got 24 hours to get where they need to go, in the water,” said Anna Maria Turtle Watch volunteer Mary Lechleidner.

Group members are asking residents and tourists to install amber colored turtle-safe lights.

Chris Wells from Kentucky found a baby sea turtle crawling near the street.

“My concern was he was 150 yards away from the water. I didn’t want to see the little animal die,” said Wells.

Wells carried the turtle back to the beach and placed him next to the water.

Turtle Watch volunteers in the area are asking tourists and residents to call them if they see a turtle in distress.  Click here for more information on Turtle Watch.

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