NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Coastal Wildlife Club rescues 250 pound loggerhead turtle on Manasota Key

The turtle was stuck between stairs
loggerhead turtle (1).jpg
Posted at 9:26 PM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 23:29:26-04

MANASOTA KEY, Fla. — Volunteers rescued a loggerhead turtle that got stuck between some stairs on Manasota Key.

Someone found the turtle in trouble and notified volunteers with the Coastal Wildlife Club, an environmental conservation organization.

The female turtle got stuck while trying to nest on the beach.

"She had gotten herself wedged quite nicely and her one flipper was caught between one of the wooden posts, but because they can’t turn around, she was stuck," said Nora Cietek, a volunteer with the Coastal Wildlife Club.

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Two volunteers picked up the 250 pound turtle and she quickly returned to the water.

"We pulled her back a couple of feet and then just turned her a little bit and she immediately and said thank you and ran off to the water," said Mike Shlasko, a volunteer with the Coastal Wildlife Club.

The majority of nesting in Florida occurs between May 1 and Oct. 31.

As of last week, more than 2,000 loggerhead nests have been recorded.

Volunteers also keep track of false crawls. False crawls mean turtles will return to the water, but for whatever reason do not lay eggs.

"This season has been not as busy as last season or the season before so far, but we don't know if it's going to end later because it sort of started later. At the moment on Manasota Key, 212 nests behind last year at this time. We do track this data pretty carefully," said Shlasko.

Volunteers encourage people to help protect the sea turtles as they nest.

"We really want to keep the beach dark," said Cietek. "Clear the beach of everything. Fill in the holes. Take your debris. Take all your chairs and don't put anything out until it is light and then pick it up at the end of the day."

For more information on sea turtles, click here.