At Manasota Key, dedicated volunteers heroically rescue a loggerhead turtle ensnared between palm trees, showcasing nature’s unyielding spirit of survival

Trapped loggerhead turtle rescued by volunteers on Manasota Key

A wild rescue on Manasota Key saved a trapped loggerhead turtle. Volunteers found the behemoth mama-to-be stuck between palm trees over the weekend.

Zoe Bass, Karen Gilbert and other volunteers at the Coastal Wildlife Club gathered together at the north end of the island to get the turtle to safety.

“And there she was. It was two downed palm trees that she had wedged right between. She had nested and started to exit and went in between those two trees and just wedged herself in,” Bass said.

“First off I thought she was beautiful, and then I felt so sorry for her because I’m like ‘oh my gosh how long has she been here?’ You know she has to be tired, she has to be scared,” Gilbert added.

“They had to actually chainsaw that log out,” Bass explained.

Then she started the crawl back into the water.

“She was exhausted. It took her a while. She kind of crawled a bit, then stopped, then crawled a bit…then stopped. When she heard the waves coming in, she was like ‘oh there it is’ — and there she went,” Gilbert said.

Nesting season is just beginning for these turtles. May 1 was the first day, but turtles started showing up in mid-April. Bass said they just got information about the number of nests crews have counted so far.

“The preliminary Friday numbers for today were 81 nests which is kinda crazy — a lot,” she said.

If you see a stranded turtle, call FWC immediately.


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