Look out for stranded turtle hatchlings on KZN beaches

By: Colette Bodenstaff

It is turtle hatching season, a time when the beaches of northern KZN come alive with Leatherback and Loggerhead turtle hatchlings, all desperately scrabbling down to the sea. Once at sea they are usually carried offshore in the ocean currents. The survival of these tiny turtles is generally very low, but if they wash up on a beach there are some things that we can do to can help them.  Here’s what to do if you find one:

  1. Phone uShaka Sea World – 031 328 8222 office hours or 031 328 8060 after hours.  We will liaise with the KZM Marine Animal Stranding Network on the quickest way to get the turtle to uShaka Sea World
  2. Wet a small towel or clean cloth and place in a small open container
  3. Place the hatchling on the wet towel

Please do not place the turtle in a container with water.  It may be weak and struggle to raise its head to breathe.

Please do not place the turtle back in the ocean/ tidal pool.

Please keep at room temperature – no air-conditioning.

Keep in quiet space and do not handle.
Do not try to feed the turtle.

Turtles are a protected species and a special permit or permission is required to have one in your possession.