A live green sea turtle found during a sea turtle excavation on Hatteras Island. It is held by Ranger Will Thompson.

From our news sources

Late August is when the eggs in the myriad sea turtle nests along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore start to hatch. Several days after they hatch, Seashore rangers will excavate nests.

Any live hatchlings found during the excavation are placed in a cool holding container and released from the same location the same evening.

The turtles must crawl on their own to get to the water, though volunteers and NPS staff will keep predators away from them. The main predator in the National Seashore are ghost crabs.

Rangers Annie, Megan and Will excavated a green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) nest Aug. 25 that hatched six days earlier and was filmed live and later posted on the Seashore’s Facebook page.

This was a relocated nest found too close to the high tide line. It had been moved to a safer location close to the dunes. Because the nest was relocated, the rangers knew that 135 eggs had been laid.

An inventory involves counting egg shells, unhatched eggs and live or dead hatchlings. Inventories of excavated nests help provide a better understanding of the life cycles of sea turtles.

Spoiler alert: In the video below, you will see some hatchlings found alive, none dead.

This virtual sea turtle experience was produced in partnership with Outer Banks Forever and Visit The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau.

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