NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – An endangered sea turtle was found dead in the Cherry Grove area last weekend, and experts believe it may have been hooked by someone fishing from the pier.
The North Myrtle Beach Sea Turtle Patrol posted images of the dead juvenile Kemps Ridley turtle that was found stranding over the weekend. They said it was large, in great shape, and not emaciated.
However, the turtle's jaw was severely damages and its flipper was wrapped in fishing line, leading the sea turtle patrol to believe it may have been hooked on a pier.
"PLEASE, if you hook a turtle while fishing on the piers, DO NOT pull onto the pier using the hook and line, ASK for help, use a net," the patrol's Facebook post states. "DO NOT YANK the hook out, wait until a trained volunteer arrives and determines if the hook needs to be removed by a trained vet....."
Fishers who accidentally hook a turtle in North Myrtle Beach can call the NMB Sea Turtle Patrol at 843-213-9074.
The patrol thanked Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach for providing space in a freezer to preserve the turtle until a necropsy could be performed.