Threatened Sea Turtle Rescued by 10-year old Visitor

The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle is the most common species of sea turtle found in the Hawaiian islands. They can be found feeding on green algae along most of Hawaii’s coastline, as well as sleeping in the warm sun on many Hawaiian Beaches.According to the NOAA the typical adult green sea turtle has a carapace (shell) length of about 40  inches and they can weigh anywhere from 200 to 500 pounds! NOAA’s facts state that the lifespan for sea turtles in general is unknown but Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles are thought to survive about 60-70 years. The Hawaiian green sea turtle is genetically different from other green sea turtles, and they are primarily found around the Hawaiian islands; nesting mainly on the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and feeding in coastal areas of the main islands. The Star Advertiser has reported that a visitor to Kailua-Kona on the Big Island helped rescue a turtle that was in trouble. 10-year old Dylan Hiatt played an important role in possibly saving one of these majestic, endangered turtles. He told West Hawaii Today that he was snorkeling when he saw the turtle with a hook in its fin. He said “I know you’re not supposed to go that close, but I wanted to save the turtle.” He loosened the line around the turtle and then brought it to shore with the help of his grandma. Bystanders then lent a hand in trying to free the hook from the fin, but decided it would be better to let the hook disintegrate itself.This is a great chance for a lesson on how to deal with injured or distressed animals. While Dylan probably did save the turtles life without causing it any harm, he risked being injured himself while handling it. The State Department of Land and Natural Resources is the best place to turn to request assistance with injured or distressed wildlife; they have the resources to deal with the situations as well as the professionals who have the knowledge to handle these situations without endangering other animals or people. Regardless Dylan should be applauded for taking immediate action and helping an animal in distress. Anyone interested in volunteering with a local organization who protects the Sea Turtles check out their homepage at Malama Na Honu

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