Sea turtles belong to a reptiles called testudines, which includes turtles, tortoises and terrapins. These impressive creatures come in all sizes and shapes and live in a number of different environments.
With nearly just 6.5 million sea turtles left in the wild and 5,600 turtles killed every year due to fishing and pollution, we have made a simple guide on what not to do when you encounter a sea turtle to avoid causing any harm to our turtles:
1 | Don't get on their way
If you encounter sea turtles stay out of their way. Don't put your hands on or near the turtle. Any distractions may frighten or disorient them.
2 | Don't take pictures
Light can also cause a major disruption in the natural behaviour of the turtles. Don't use any flashlights or flash photography.
3 | Do not try to touch them
Do not forget to handle or ride the sea turtle. In addition to being illegal, you may injure the turtle.
4 | Do not feed the turtles
If you encounter a sea turtle do not feed it. It can make them sick and more vulnerable to harm from people. Their diet consists primarily of algae, seagrasses, and seaweed so do not try to feed them.
If you come across a turtle that is dead, sick, or injured, or if you see someone disturbing a nest or turtle, call your local authorities or the police.
Fun fact: "Sea turtles rarely leave the ocean, except to lay eggs in the sand."