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The turtles are coming! Here’s what to do if you see a nest

The first sea turtle nest found in Myrtle Beach Wednesday morning.
The first sea turtle nest found in Myrtle Beach Wednesday morning. Myrtle Beach City Government Facebook page

Horry County’s first sea turtle nest of the season was found in Myrtle Beach Wednesday morning.

The nest was found at 5:21 a.m. by city employee BJ Sheppard near 42nd Avenue North, according to a Facebook post by the Myrtle Beach City Government.

Myrtle Beach State Park’s team was on site at 6:06 a.m., and counted 130 eggs in the nest.

The eggs were relocated to a safer location at the Myrtle Beach State Park, the post says.

“Hopefully that nest won’t hatch til sixty, sixty-five days, but if it’s hot and dry it’ll hatch quicker, it’s very hard to predict,” said Myrtle Beach State Park ranger Ann Wilson.

Myrtle Beach usually gets around 10 to 20 nests every season, according to Wilson.

“It’s not a ton because it’s so busy and so crowded and very lit,” she said.

The sea turtles will continue to lay eggs until mid-August, and Wilson wants beach-goers to stay away from the nests and call their local beach patrol if they happen to stumble across one.

“I call it a ‘TSI’, a turtle scene investigation,” Wilson said. “I want them to stay off of it because just like at a crime scene, there’s clues that we can use that the turtle left behind so we can figure out where the eggs are.”

Wilson also said if you happen to see a turtle nesting, you should turn off any lights, including cellphones, a flash from a camera, and flashlights.

“People dig giant holes, and turtles can stuck so fill in your holes, smash your sandcastles when you’re done, and pick up trash,” Wilson added. “Those are really easy ways to help out a turtle, even if you never see a turtle.”

Beach Patrol Phone Numbers:

Myrtle Beach: (843) 918-1382

North Myrtle Beach: (843) 281-3820

Michaela Broyles, 843-626-0281, @MichaelaBroyles

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