Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — A lone sea turtle that was found wandering near a beach in central Playa del Carmen has been assisted by local authorities.
The turtle was seen wandering along 38th street in the beach area of central Playa del Carmen by tourists who reported the sighting to a lifeguard who in turn, reported it to Civil Protection officials.
With the help of Civil Protection, the turtle was under guard while a report was made to officers with the Federal Attorney for the Protection of the Environment.
“A tourist saw the turtle very far from the shore and reported it to a lifeguard who later made the call to Civil Protection and they, to us. First, we have to study what state it is in. We have communicated with Profepa (Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection) and Xcaret since it is the only place with the permit for the management of the sea turtle hospital,” explained Grisel Chico, marine biologist in charge of wildlife and the conservation program of sea turtles in Solidaridad.
The turtle, who was determined to be a 50-cm long male, is not commonly seen out of season said Chico.
“It is not very frequent. It is the first turtle so far this year out of nesting season, which runs from May 1 to October 31,” she said adding that “the recommendation is if someone sees a live turtle, they have to leave it where is and call authorities or if you decide to help it, put it in a container with wet sand.
“It is important that you do not put it in the water, but wait for specialized people to arrive for proper handling,” she said.
The male was noted as being a green turtle, the most commonly found in the region.