By Stephanie Braswell Edgerton for The Island Connection
On May 23, a beachgoer spotted a distressed loggerhead sea turtle in a tidal pool in front of the Sanctuary Hotel. The Kiawah Island Turtle Patrol responded and then notified South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
Once SCDNR arrived on the scene, they began to load the turtle onto a stretcher for transport to the South Carolina Aquarium. At that point, they noticed that the turtle was wrapped in strands of braided and monofilament fishing line. The tangled line was trailing behind the turtle and the crew was shocked when they pulled on it to find another loggerhead entangled as well. Unfortunately, the 2nd turtle was not alive.
The live turtle was taken to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Care Center for medical care where they named her Scabbers. She is currently stable in rehabilitation, and once fully recovered they will then release her back on Kiawah. Soon Scabbers will have her own blog and progress reports via scaquarium.org/blog.
This incident was a stark reminder of the hazards of litter and how they can affect our wildlife. Please be mindful of our environment and leave only footprints behind.