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Endangered sea turtle euthanized after being struck by car near Cape Hatteras

Posted August 21

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— An endangered sea turtle had to be euthanized Sunday after authorities said it was struck by a car on a beach Saturday night.

Authorities said that Cape Hatteras National Seashore personnel found the severely injured sea turtle in an off-road vehicle travel area Sunday morning. It is believed the turtle came onto the beach to make a nest in the sand and had begun to lay eggs when a vehicle struck and ran over the animal.

The incident was not reported by the driver.

Nighttime driving restrictions are in place during summer months to protect nesting turtles and all off-road vehicles are prohibited on beaches after 9 p.m. It is unknown what time the incident took place.

Authorities said nine sea turtle eggs were found adjacent to the injured turtle and biological technicians were able to salvage an additional 172 eggs. The eggs were deposited in a nearby nest site in hope that they will eventually hatch.

“This is a tragic and unfortunate incident. We ask that all people utilize caution and look carefully for nesting wildlife when enjoying the Seashore’s beaches,” said Superintendent David Hallac.

Rangers with the National Park Service are working to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident. Anybody with information is asked to call the Dare County Community Crimeline at 252-473-3111.


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