BOCA RATON (CBSMiami) – More than 500 baby sea turtles hitched a ride with the U.S. Coast Guard Thursday afternoon for a second chance at life.
The green and loggerhead hatchlings were scooped up from shoreline nests in South Florida after failing to crawl to the ocean with their siblings.
Researchers from the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton joined the coast guard to deposit the baby turtles in the ocean.
“If we hadn’t taken them from the nests, they would be at the mercy of raccoons and foxes so we are giving them a fighting chance,” said David Anderson with the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center.
About five miles offshore the coast guard located patches of Sargassum seaweed where the turtles can find enough to eat and shelter.
In about ten years, the turtles will return closer to shore when they are big enough to avoid being eaten by predators.
“It is estimated when a hatchling comes out they have a one in one thousand to five thousand chance to live to adulthood. That is 20 to 25 years old,” said Anderson.