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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

North Myrtle Beach Nest #1

Call came in around 1:00AM,  Horry County Police, We have a nesting sea turtle on your beach.  We have asked people to turn off lights, stay away and leave her alone.  

Quick trip down to the site, turtle had just returned to the water.  Pretty sure she laid eggs, was on the beach a long time.  Horry County Police along with NMB Beach Police helped rope of the body pit to protect the body pit and tracks until we could work it in the daylight.   Early Monday morning, NMB STP Volunteers start gathering around the nest site.  

Outgoing crawl is still visible in the soft sand

The poor turtle had to crawl around trash (Umbrella and water bottle) left on the beach

Incoming crawl

Body Pit

This long mark in the sand was not there when the body pit was roped off.  Someone looking for the eggs?

Because of all the footprints, a lot of the incoming crawl was erased. Normal signs used to find the egg cavity are missing or mashed up with footprints,  but the egg cavity was found.  That long mark in the sand is visible but thankfully above where the eggs were found.

Getting ready to dig for the eggs...gloves required


Questions and answers before digging

Sand is gently removed, soft sand trail followed

Yes, we have eggs!!!

Top, loose egg is taken for DNA

Relocation of the eggs.  Gently, one egg at a time

Jennifer holds the DNA Egg

Processing the DNA Egg

Yolk is discarded, returned to the ocean 
Shell is placed in a vial to be sent to University of Georgia

Relocation to a new spot

New hole is dug, using a cockleshell

New resting place for the eggs, all safely placed

Because of a fox problem, new nest is covered with a cage

A huge thanks to all of the NMB STP Volunteers who helped

NMB Nest #1

A huge thanks to both Horry County Police and the NMB Police for protecting the loggerhead turtle as she nested.

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