Wildlife officials: 'Hands off!' on sea turtle hatchlings

Posted at 6:55 AM, Aug 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-29 06:55:16-04

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - "Hands off!"  That's what state wildlife officials want you to think if you see a sea turtle hatchling this fall.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission last week said it's a bad idea to help a hatchling as it makes it way from its nest to the ocean, not matter how well-meaning your intention.

FWC officials say the hatchlings should be watched from a distance and left undisturbed.

It can take a hatchling several days to dig out of its nest and they are vulnerable to predators while they do it.

FWC officials say distractions - say, from humans - can make matters worse for them.

The sea turtle hatchlings start digging out of their nests in September and October.

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