VIERA, Fla. (AP) — Swells from Hurricane Nicole sent hundreds of baby sea turtles onto the beaches along Florida's Space Coast.
By Sunday, the Brevard Zoo Sea Turtle Healing Center had taken in 366 struggling turtles that were rescued from the beach. Florida Today reports that 297 of the washback turtles survived, including 283 loggerheads, 10 green turtles and four hawksbill turtles.
Sea Turtle Rehabilitation assistant Shanon Gann says most of the turtles were likely exhausted by the time they reached the beach. She says Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials may launch a boat from Fort Pierce later this week to take the turtles back to their Sargasso Sea home.
Necropsies will be performed on the deceased turtles. Gann says ingested plastics are most likely to blame for their deaths.