Sea turtles wash up on the shores of the Western Cape each year, and the Two Oceans Aquarium has requested that beachgoers assist in rescuing them.
Sea turtle hatchlings wash up on the Cape’s beaches as they are carried astray by strong ocean currents.
“This is an annual occurrence as loggerhead sea turtles hatch on the beaches of the northern KwaZulu-Natal and are then carried south by the Agulhas current,” the Aquarium said via a statement to News24. “Due to injury, dehydration and hypothermia, some of these hatchlings, unfortunately, wash home up onto beaches around the Western Cape.”
When this happens, it is referred to as “stranding season”. This year has been quiet, according to the Aquarium, and beachgoers have been urged to keep an eye peeled for any hatchlings.
“Nearly all of the sea turtles brought to the aquarium for rehabilitation are rescued by caring members of the public,” it said. “Without the support of the public and those making use of the local beaches, hundreds of sea turtles would have died over the years.”
Beachgoers are urged not to put any hatchlings they come across back into the ocean’s waters. Instead, the hatchling should be placed into a dry container with air holes and a dry towel. The container with the hatchlings should be kept out of sunlight and wind.
Contact the Turtle Rescue Network or phone 0833001663 for further instructions.