Endangered sea turtle found dead with Alabama beach chair wrapped around neck
FORT MORGAN, Ala. (WPMI) —
An endangered sea turtle was found dead with part of an Alabama football beach chair wrapped around its neck.
The Fort Morgan Share the Beach Facebook page shared the photo of the turtle saying:
This Kemps Ridley which in on the endangered list was found this morning with this chair around it’s neck. This makes me so mad. How many hundreds of times do we have to ask people to pick their stuff up? It should just be common decency. I think I am going to print this out and carry it with me next time I have to ask.
Alabama beaches have had ongoing issues with visitors leaving trash and items behind, leading to the creation of several beach clean-up advocacy groups such as Leave Only Footprints.
But Leave Only Footprints does not extend to Fort Morgan, where the turtle was found.
We spoke with PhD student and marine ecologist Matt Ware who said it was heartbreaking to find the turtle while he was surveying the beach this morning.
Ware is doing research on turtles along the Gulf and said to find any turtle beach is sad, but especially so when wrapped up in debris.
It’s unknown how long it was since the turtle died, it could have been suffering for days. A necropsy will be done in a lab to determine those answers.
The rare kind of turtle is typically found nesting in Texas and Mexico but can be found along the Gulf.
There is also a big problem with debris and trash occluding the path for baby turtles to get to the ocean.
Ware says the answer is extremely simple: Even if you’re coming back the next morning, haul your stuff home overnight. And certainly if you’re leaving, take your things with you. “We aren’t the only animals who enjoy the beach,” said Ware.
Most turtle nests are protected by fencing and markers.