Rare day-nesting 800-pound sea turtle caught on camera in Florida

Laura Henning said there have been 11 leatherback sea turtle nests at the Canaveral National Seashore so far this year.

By Ben Hooper
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TITUSVILLE, Fla., May 7 (UPI) -- A Florida park ranger captured rare video of an 800-pound leatherback sea turtle nesting during the daytime at Canaveral National Seashore.

Laura Henning, a ranger at the national park, said the endangered sea turtles generally do their nesting under cover of night, but she captured video Tuesday of an 800-pound specimen nesting in the sand.


"It is rare that they nest in the daytime, the only one that usually nests in the day is the Kemp's Ridley, which we only get one of every so often," Henning told Florida Today.

The leatherback sea turtles create about 200 nests in Florida each year, and Henning said Canaveral National Seashore has 11 so far this year.

"The most we've ever had is 27 [nests]," Henning said of the park.

The Canaveral National Seashore protects newly laid sea turtle eggs by placing screens on the nests that prevent predators from digging up the eggs and destroying them. The efforts have had a 90 percent success rate since the screening began in 1980s.

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