How to rescue a turtle
Everything you need to know about saving turtles
Hatchlings: Thousands of endangered loggerhead and leatherback turtles hatch on the beaches of northern Kwa-Zulu Natal during the summer months. Shortly afterwards, "turtle stranding season" begins in February and March. The warm, fast-flowing Agulhas Current often pushes these hatchlings into colder waters, where strong currents and the shock of the colder water result in strandings. This is where people, such as beachgoers, get involved. It is vital that those who encounter stranded hatchlings are aware of the correct procedures to follow and CALL FOR ASSISTANCE.
Sub-adult and adult turtles: Turtles can strand regardless of their size. The larger turtles often display extensive external physical injuries, from boat strikes or entanglement in ghost fishing gear. Many suffer from plastic ingestion, too. It can seem daunting to rescue a larger turtle, but there are multiple options for those who encounter a stranded sub-adult or adult turtle. Our Turtle Network Points are placed all over the Western Cape, and these points are equipped with the resources and permits needed to get the turtle to safety.
Turtle Rescue Hotline: 083 300 1663
Call us to report stranded or distressed sea turtles on the Western Cape coast - we'll give you the information you need and coordinate efforts to get the turtle into the hands of trained veterinary staff at our Turtle Conservation Centre.
Turtle Rescue Network Points
If you live in a coastal community or are holidaying on the Western Cape coast, look up your nearest Turtle Rescue Network point. This way, you will always know who to notify should you find a stranded or distressed turtle on the beach. If in doubt, call the rescue hotline on 083 300 1663.