First Kemp's Ridley hatchling release of 2017 to be held Wednesday

CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - The Padre Island National Seashore will be holding their first Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle hatchling release of 2017 at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday in front of the Malaquite Beach Visitors Center.

If you plan to attend the hatchling release, keep in mind that if the turtles become active and need to be released overnight, or if they are not ready to be released in the morning, the event will be canceled. So before attending be sure to call the Hatchling Hotline at 361-949-7163 or visit their Facebook page.

If no cancelation has been posted by 2 a.m. Wednesday, the release will be held as scheduled.

The event is free and open to the public. A park ranger will meet guests at the Visitors Center and give a program about the turtles at 6:30 a.m., followed by the release at 6:45 a.m.

Do not bring or eat food during the release, because it will attract seagulls. Also, do not wear white clothing or footwear, or take photos using a flash, because these things will disorient the hatchlings.

The Padre Island National Seashore will host 20-25 public releases of the endangered sea turtle hatchlings between June and mid-August, depending on when the last Kemp's Ridley nests are found. So far this year, authorities have found 306 Kemp's Ridley nests, including 185 at the Padre Island National Seashore and seven on North Padre Island just north of the Seashore. One loggerhead turtle nest was found on South Padre Island.

© 2017 KIII-TV


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