Good samaritans are accidentally mistaking a gopher tortoise for a sea turtle, releasing them into the ocean where they are less likely to end up as dinner for the many dangers that lurk on the beaches. Unfortunately, gopher tortoises can’t swim. 

The two shelled creatures can be distinguished by their limbs. Gopher tortoises have toes with a claw on each toe, and sea turtles have flippers, for swimming. [via]

This story has been making the rounds and I’m sure many of you have seen it. Endangered gopher tortoises are being “returned to the sea” because they are thought to be sea turtles. *sad face* 

I think the important lesson to take from this (aside from the turtle/tortoise difference) is that if you see a wild animal in distress, that’s not in immediate danger of being hit by car,  call someone who knows how to handle it to help or leave it alone. Far too often more harm is done than good, despite the best of intentions. 


regram @localoceantrust
In #Watamu the vast majority of the #turtle nests hatch at #night so that the hatchlings have the best chance of #survival. If they hatched in daylight they would be easy prey for #crabs, #birds, #fish and pretty much anything else looking for a quick #snack. The hatchlings #instinct drives them to head to the brightest light, which should be the moonlight reflecting off the water. So as not to confuse the hatchlings, only #red light is used during our night time #beach patrols because #turtles can’t see red light!
#sealife #ocean #conservation #kenya #africa #marinebiology #babyanimals #reptile