What to do if you find a sick or injured sea turtle…
How do I know if it’s a sea turtle?
If it’s in the ocean or on the beach, it is most likely a sea turtle. If it’s inland, on a road (not next to the beach), on the causeway, in the forest or in a freshwater pond, it is most likely NOT a sea turtle, but rather a freshwater turtle, terrapin, box turtle or tortoise.
How do you know if a sea turtle is injured, sick, or possibly dead?
A sea turtle seen on the beach, not of it’s own will (i.e. nesting), or floating in the ocean/surf that hasn’t moved on it’s own in 30 minutes or more, can be considered injured, sick or dead.
How do you report an injured, sick or dead sea turtle?
In Georgia, please call the proper authorities at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources: 912-264-7218 or 1-800-2SAVEME (800-272-8363).
For other states, you’ll have to identify the appropriate authority to contact. Contacting a local nature center, aquarium, zoo or conservation group might help you make this identification. When all else fails, call the state patrol for assistance.
What type of information should you provide when you make this report?
Please provide as much of the following information:
1. Exact location including county, city/town, beach, landmarks, etc.
2. Approximate size of the turtle
3. Situation such as if the turtle is on the beach, floating in surf, caught on a fishing line, etc.
4. Any external injuries you may see such as fishing line wrapped around it’s flipper, boat propeller wound, missing flippers, etc.
5. Leave your name and a contact phone number in case someone needs to contact you for more assistance and/or information regarding this report.