Brian Hamacher

Rare Sea Turtles Spotted in Volusia County

The smallest of all sea turtles have been spotted in Volusia County.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports the rare Kemp's ridley turtles have made a couple of local appearances this spring.

Melissa Ranly, a manager at the county's Marine Science Center's turtle hospital, says one was rescued in Ponce Inlet in March after being hooked by a fisherman. It was returned to the sea Thursday.

A female Kemp's ridley dug a nest in May on Daytona Beach Shores, the first since 2014.

Kemp's ridley turtles are the only sea turtle species that nests predominantly during the day.

Volusia-Flagler Turtle Patrol President Beth Libert says it's unknown why the turtles have started nesting on some east coast beaches. Their prime nesting grounds are in Mexico on the Gulf of Mexico.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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