The Hurricane Irene has relocated not only people and their homes. It has relocated animal species of all varieties. We have received inquiries from folks who have found a turtle in their yards and wonder if it is a sea turtle. Sea turtles differ from the others in several important and easily identifiable ways.
- Sea turtles cannot withdraw into their shells.
- Sea turtles have flippers, not legs with claws.
Click on this link for help identifying a turtle you may have found.
Turtles of North Carolina
IMPORTANT: Sea turtles are an endangered species. Possession of a sea turtle is illegal. If you think you have found one, keep it on slightly wet sand in a container covered with a towel and contact the N.E.S.T. Hotline immediately at 252-441-8622.
If the turtle you find is identifiable as a land/sound based turtle, please release it into the nearest stream or creek. If the turtle is injured, please refer to this wildlife rehabber list for someone to call for advice. Enter “Dare County” for the local list.
N.C. Wildlife Rehabber
You may also contact the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island for advice.