Nesting sea turtle likely killed by person driving illegally on North Carolina beach, park says

Nesting sea turtle likely killed by person driving illegally on beach, park says

MANTEO, N.C. — The National Park Service said it is investigating after a nesting loggerhead sea turtle was found dead on a North Carolina beach, with signs that the creature was run over by a vehicle.

The female turtle came onto the beach early Monday and had begun to lay eggs in a nest in the sand along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, according to a news release from the federal park.

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That’s when it is believed a vehicle struck the turtle. Intact eggs thought to be viable were discovered nearby, the park said. The collision happened during a time when the route was closed to off-road vehicle use.

“At this time of year, ocean-facing off-road vehicle ramps are closed between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. for an important reason – to protect nesting sea turtles. It is very unfortunate that a vehicle appears to have disregarded the Seashore’s regulations which has resulted in this turtle death,” stated Superintendent David Hallac.

Loggerheads are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Stock photo of a loggerhead sea turtle on a sandy beach.
Stock photo of a loggerhead sea turtle on a sandy beach. (arisRT/Getty Images/iStockphoto)