Loggerhead sea turtle run over by vehicle while laying eggs at Cape Hatteras National Seashore beach

North Carolina

CAPE HATTERAS, N.C. (WAVY) — A loggerhead sea turtle was believed to have been run over by a vehicle early Monday morning at Cape Hatteras National Seashore beach while it was nesting. The incident happened at a time when the beach is closed to vehicles.

Staff found the dead sea turtle on the beach around 5:30 a.m., about 0.10 miles south of Ramp 49 in Frisco.

Officials believe the female sea turtle came onto the beach to lay a nest in the sand. Then, they say a vehicle struck and ran over the turtle as she was laying her eggs.

Eggs, which were still intact, were discovered near the turtle.

The seashore is seeking information about a vehicle driving on the beach at Ramps 49 or 48 in Frisco between 9 p.m. on May 24 and 5:30 a.m. Monday, May 25.

Anyone with information that may help determine the circumstances and events that led to the death of this sea turtle is asked to contact the Dare County Community Crime Line or the National Park Service’s Investigative Services Branch (ISB)

National Park Service ISB Tip Line:

  • Call or text the ISB Tip Line at 888-653-0009
  • Online at www.nps.gov/isb and click “Submit a Tip”

“At this time of year, ocean-facing off road vehicle ramps are closed between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. for an important reason – to protect nesting sea turtles. It is very unfortunate that a vehicle appears to have disregarded the Seashore’s regulations which has resulted in this turtle death,” stated Superintendent David Hallac.

Ramp 49, along with other priority off-road vehicle ramps (ramps 2, 4, 25, 27, 43, 44, 48, 49, 70, and 72), are closed to vehicles nightly from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

All other ocean-facing off-road vehicle ramps are closed to vehicles from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. Visitors are reminded that sea turtles, while predominately nesting during nighttime hours, may be present on seashore beaches at any hour of the day.


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