Stranded turtle rescued by walkers on beach
Families rescued a sick turtle stranded on an East End beach yesterday.
Samantha Tyers said she and her family were walking near Fort Hill Bay near the southern end of Cooper’s Island in St David’s just before noon when her children told her there was a turtle on the beach.
She added: “It didn’t look very well and it wasn’t moving much, but I could tell it was still alive.
“My daughter had been at the aquarium’s virtual camp this summer and I still had a WhatsApp chat group with some of the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo staff, so I contacted them.”
Mrs Tyers said she was contacted by staff at the aquarium, who told her they were on their way to the park.
The staff picked up the turtle – believed to be a juvenile green turtle – and brought it back to the aquarium for treatment.
She said: “The kids were totally excited to be part of a rescue.
“It was a great experience for them to be part of the rescue, to see that the animal was being helped, and the aquarium staff were really grateful that we called.”
Jennifer Gray, the director of the Bermuda Turtle Project, praised the families for their concern for the injured animal.
Ms Gray said: “It is always important to reach out when you find an injured turtle because they are an endangered species.
“Even if they are dead, you should reach out to BAMZ because there is a lot we can learn from them about the status of the rest of our turtle population.”
She said that Bermuda’s turtle population had struggled because of a lack of seagrass around the island – expected to become a bigger problem in 2021.
Ms Gray added: “I think, even if the public haven’t noticed it already, they will see a lack of turtles this coming summer in areas that used to be very heavily populated.”
Green turtles were once common in Bermuda, but use of the turtles for food and the increase of pests such as rats reduced their numbers.
But juvenile turtles still visit the island’s waters to feed from as far away as the Mediterranean.
Bermuda’s nesting population was believed to have died out in the 1930s, but in August 2015 a nest was discovered at Builder’s Bay in St George’s.