KEY WEST, FLA. (WSVN) - Key West Police received a call to help a turtle cross the road, Wednesday.
At around 5 a.m., a concerned citizen reported seeing a loggerhead turtle laying her eggs on the Bridle Path, across the street from Smather’s Beach.
When officers arrived, they found the animal trying to cross South Roosevelt Blvd., heading to the ocean. They immediately set up a perimeter, blocking traffic to the four-lane road to ensure the turtle safe passage.
“We were well aware of the dire circumstances the turtle was in,” said Officer Carter Sims, who was the first to arrive on scene, “having crossed the road once to make a nest in inhospitable terrain.”
The officers protected the turtle as she worked her way back to the beach and along 40 feet of shoreline where a wall of seagrass blocked her path into the ocean. She turned back to the road, crossed the four lanes of black top again and returned to the Bridle Path.
While two of the officers protected the turtle from oncoming traffic, others located the nest full of eggs. They surrounded the site with crime scene tape and contacted the Key West Sea Turtle Club rescue group for help.
In the meantime, the exhausted turtle again turned to the beach and began to cross the boulevard.
The group of turtle rescue volunteers arrived, providing the officers with enough manpower and expertise to return the turtle back to the water.
Officials said this incident is a good reminder that this is turtle nesting season and there are things Keys residents can do to make it safer for them, like turning off outdoor lighting at night and shading your windows if you live near a beach.
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