The Israel Nature and Parks Authority reported on Monday morning that a turtle hatchling was spotted after emerging from the nest at Zikim, Israel’s southernmost Mediterranean public beach.
The tiny brown sea turtle was trapped in a trail of wheels that prevented his approach to the water.
Sea turtle egg laying season starts in May and continues through August. Brown sea turtles (Caretta) and green sea turtles (Chelonia Mydas) arrive on the coast of Israel to lay their eggs in nests the dig up on the beach. Both species of turtles are endangered in the Mediterranean and are protected by law.
During the egg laying season, it is very important to maintain behavior that protects the female sea turtles that emerge on the beach, the nests (and the eggs inside), and, of course, for the little hatchlings that will eventually emerge and make their way to the sea.
Which is why Israel bans driving cars on the beach. The vehicles leave behind sockets and grooves in the sand which are obstacles to little turtles. Also, a vehicle traveling on the beach could damage an egg nest that had been dug by a female sea turtle.
If you’ve come across a sea turtle that has been laying eggs on the beach, or a nest, or a sea turtle on the beach, please call *3639 and report.