First Aid Information for Sea Turtles
What can you do
if you find a sea turtle nest, an injured or dead turtle?
If you find a nest
- Do not disturb or dig up the nest.
- If the nest is threatened by human
or vehicular traffic, build a 2-metre perimeter fence
around the nest. Use sticks or small poles, and bind
them together with string, cord or rope.
- If there are stones or other objects
around the nest which might prevent the hatchlings
from reaching the sea, remove
- If the nest is located in the shade created
by a movable object (for example, under an umbrella),
try to remove the object.
If you find an injured sea turtle
- Move the turtle to a SAFE PLACE far away
from people and noise.
- Turtles should always be picked
up the shell, and never by the fins or the head.
- If the turtle is large and
requires two people to move it, one should
take hold of the shell just behind the turtle's
neck and the other at the part of the shell
close to the tail.
- Handle the turtle carefully and gently,
being careful that their fins do not fold, bend or
twist backwards or underneath the body.
- Make sure that the turtle is in a safe
and restricted area, away from wind and drafts.
- During the summer months,
the injured area should be covered with a damp
- The temperature in the area
where the turtle is kept should not fall below
- It isn't necessary for the
turtle to be kept in water.
However, when the turtle has a head injury or
is exhausted, it SHOULD NOT BE KEPT IN WATER
AT ALL because it may choke or drown.
- If the turtle is tangled up in a net or
lines, they should be carefully removed.
- UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES
SHOULD AN ATTEMPT BE MADE TO PULL OUT A HOOK OR LINE
PROTRUDING FROM THE MOUTH OR TAIL.
- Check all the flipper for possible
identification tags and call the Rescue Network
at 210-8944444. ARCHELON will send you a Turtle
Incident Report form
which should be carefully filled out and returned
to us. This information will not only help this
particular turtle, but all the other turtles as
If you find a dead sea turtle
NOTE: All turtles should be handled
carefully. It is possible that a
turtle may appear to be dead, but in fact is simply in
a state of hibernation, especially during the cold months.
- If the turtle is dead, it should be brought
onto the land, and both the Coast Guard and ARCHELON
should be notified.
- A local
veterinary official should be called in to certify
the death and the cause of death.
there is none in the area, notify the Coast Guard or an
available local veterinarian.
turtle was tagged, the tag should be removed and sent
- t would also greatly
help ARCHELON if a photo of the dead turtle, including
its injury, was taken and sent to ARCHELON.
- ARCHELON will send you a Turtle
Incident Report form, which should be filled out and
returned to us.
- Notify local authorities so
that the turtle will be properly and legally buried.