It was an experience to last a lifetime, and now the world gets to witness it thanks to two videos.
Kelly Futrell and her family witnessed dozens of baby sea turtles hatch and make their way to the ocean while vacationing in Isle of Palms, South Carolina. Futrell took videos of the adorable turtles and posted it on Facebook. Her videos were posted nearly two weeks ago and have been seen over 4 million times.
“It was amazing,” said Futrell, who lives with her family in Charlotte.
Futrell said her group noticed the nests shortly after they arrived at the vacation house. Their first experience with the baby turtles had a sad ending.
“The way we knew there was possible movement was that Wednesday afternoon two of them had come out. The heat and the hotness of the sand — it was super, super hot — they came out and died within a foot or two of the hole,” she said. “So we made plans to keep an eye on the nest that night.”
And, sure enough, there was a lot of activity!
“We kept looking at the holes every 30 minutes,” she said, “and it just so happened that we just settled down and saw the hole move.”
Futrell said earlier that day they ran into “the sea turtle ladies” and informed them of the two that passed away. The women gave Futrell and her group their numbers and asked them to call if there was more movement.
“So we called the sea turtle ladies, and within 30 minutes they were all hatching,” Futrell said. “It was so unexpected.”
Futrell said she believes approximately 70 came out the first night from the first nest and about 25 came out of a second nest later that night. Five more came out the next night, she said.
Futrell, who was vacationing with her husband’s side of the family, said they’ve all had a crash course in sea turtles since this experience.
“We know that sea turtles have to put their footprint in the sand because somehow or some way 25 years later they come back to the same spot, so it’s really important no one really picks them up,” Futrell said. “It’s very important to (let them) walk from the hole to the beach.”
As you can tell from the videos, the entire family was involved, with Futrell’s 13-year-old daughter creating a smooth path with her boogie board for the turtles to easily make their way home.
It was a family vacation they Futrells won’t forget.