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Monday, July 28, 2014

False Crawls #4 and #5

Sunday night...Call came in around 10:30PM, Turtle on the beach, think she is nesting but a large group of people, 40 or more,  are harassing her, touching her, taking flash pictures, shining bright lights on her.  Very loud...have chased her up into the narrow beach access/walkover of a busy high rise.

Tracks left on the beach Monday morning

Turtle was chased up this narrow walkover

Turtle stop at the top of the walkway and tried to crawl into the adjacent dunes.
She was stopped by this old sand fence.
Vegetation was trampled down by her large body

Trying to turn back to the ocean, turtle went a few feet up this handicapped ramp
People coming down the ramp were asked to use the stairs, they refused, 
stepping over the turtle instead

Once turned in this shallow walkway, turtle sped down to the ocean

Police and the NMB Sea Turtle Patrol arrive on the scene but the poor
turtle has already been chased back into the water

Later, in the early morning hours, a NMB Patrol Officer, patrolling the beach comes across a long incoming and out going crawl.....about 19 blocks North of earlier activity.  This time a quiet, dark part of the beach.  Turtle crawls up the wide beach to the dunes, crawls up a dune, slipping and sliding in the soft sand, runs into dense vegetation which she plows through and turns back toward the water sliding down the dune.

As the sun rises, NMB STP Volunteers start to work the crawl

Incoming and outgoing crawl

Outgoing crawl is slightly longer than incoming, could be an indication of a nest

Beach is very wide, both crawls are very long

Crawling up the dune, sand is deep but very soft.  On the left
it can be seen where the sand collapsed onto her

She crawled through this dense vegetation, trampling and breaking some of the dune grass

The area was probed and probed but no egg chamber was found

False crawl #5

This large hole was found in an adjacent dune....Fox Den???

Hole was much to large to be ghost crab, different appearance as well

Stan and Mary check out the crawl

Monday, Segment C walkers

False Crawls #4 and #5

This poor turtle was harassed.  All she wants is to lay her eggs in peace.  It was surprising she
came back a second time that night.

A huge thanks to the two people who took the time and cared enough to call the police and the NMB Sea Turtle Patrol

A big thanks to the NMB Police

Copy of a report filed with SC DNR

Date: 2014-07-27 11 PM
Location: Horry, South Carolina, United States
Latitude: 33.8267
Longitude: -78.6429
Species: Loggerhead (4)
Comments: Lots of people and flashlights and flash photography. Went up to the dunes tried going up a ramp but eventually went back the the water.
Abundance: Single (1)
Condition: Alive
Length: Over 3ft (1m) up to 6ft (2m)
Tags or Marks: No
Habitat: Beach
Activity: Nesting

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