FREEPORT, Texas – Sea turtle lovers along the Texas coast are asking visitors to be extremely cautious while driving on the beach.
In the last 24 hours, members of The Turtle Patrol discovered two turtles dead, both believed to have been hit by vehicles.
One of the turtles was found Friday morning near Surfside Beach, the second near San Luis Pass.
Marine animal experts told the group there’s no way to be certain exactly how the animals died, but The Turtle Patrol is using the dead animals as a reminder to beach drivers to keep an eye out for the endangered turtles.
“We’re not absolutely sure that they got run over, but we know that people drive to fast.” said Henry Peker of The Turtle Patrol. “We want to send out a message to please be careful. Turtles are nesting this time of year, this is the prime time.”
Memorial Day weekend falls in the middle of sea turtle nesting season, which begins in early April and last through mid-July.
The Texas coast is expected to see a historic number of nests this year. So far this season, 295 nests have been reported by the Turtle Island Restoration Project.
That number is up from the 209 nests found during the entire three and a half month season in 2016.