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Myrtle Beach asks public not to interfere with sea turtles during nesting season

The city of Myrtle Beach is asking the public not to disturb sea turtles as nesting season gets...
The city of Myrtle Beach is asking the public not to disturb sea turtles as nesting season gets underway.(Source: City of Myrtle Beach)
Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 7:27 AM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – The city of Myrtle Beach is asking the public not to disturb sea turtles as nesting season gets underway.

In a social media post Friday morning, the city said the police department has previously received reports of people shining flashlights on the turtles as they try to nest at night.

Other reports say people on the beach have scared away nesting sea turtles, according to the city.

“Respect sea turtles by viewing these protected animals responsibly. Do not harm, harass, pick up, ride, straddle, restrain, jump over, injure, kill or otherwise disturb sea turtles. Feeding or touching turtles in any way, including shining a light on them, is considered a disturbance and is illegal,” the city said in the post.

In addition, turtle hatchlings should not be picked up and placed in the ocean, as they need to crawl to the ocean themselves to increase their chance of survival, officials say.

Federal penalties include jail time and fines up to $15,000 for each offense.

Sea turtles are protected under Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 and the Marine Turtle Protection Act.

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