FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (FOX 13) - A tiny little turtle that got caught up in trash on the beach in Broward County after it hatched is a stark reminder of what happens when beachgoers don't clean up after themselves.
The loggerhead turtle hatchling was trying to make its way to the ocean on Fort Lauderdale Beach when it got caught up in a clear plastic cup.
A "turtler" with the Nova Southeastern University Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program found the turtle stuck in the cup after it had apparently hatched the night before. The staff member found the turtle while patrolling the following morning, recovered it, and released it that evening to continue on its journey, the program told FOX 13.
The staff at the program conducts nesting surveys and document turtle crawls. They also document and inventory nests and how many eggs hatched, conduct lighting surveys, and respond to sea turtle strandings.
"You don't just make the beaches ugly when you litter," the program posted on its Facebook page, "you are also affecting endangered animals as well, and it could cost them their lives."
"Take only pictures and leave only footprints," they wrote.