BRADENTON BEACH, Fla. -- Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch Director Suzi Fox says an unusual number of turtles on Sarasota and Manatee beaches are becoming disoriented this nesting season and wandering inland.
Mote Marine scientists recorded 23 instances of disoriented turtles. That's nearly twice the number of season totals from previous years.
Fox says turtles are seeking higher ground because their beach nest habitats are disappearing.
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that educating the public has helped. The beach area has reduced artificial lighting and residents know not to leave out beach chairs and other trash because turtles can easily get caught in them.
Holmes Beach police officers also went through training so that when they are patrolling the waterfront they can also oversee nesting activities.