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Florida cop saves 100 baby sea turtles

By KRISTEN BUTLER, UPI.com
Florida cop saves 100 baby sea turtles
Warning posted at a known sea turtle nest in Anna Maria, FL. It is against federal law to disturb or touch nests or hatchlings of sea turtles, an endangered species. (CC/Mntneerjay)

A hero police officer in Sarasota, Florida saved nearly 100 endangered sea turtle hatchlings after he found them wandering into the Lido Beach Resort.

Officer Derek Conley got a cardboard box, and with the help of some resort guests, collected all the lost turtles from the parking lot and took them out to the water.

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Conley even stopped traffic a few times to collect stray hatchlings that had made their way out to the road. He snapped some photos of the baby turtles to let his boss know why he was out on the beach.

The upstanding Floridian did the right thing according to marine wildlife experts, who said the hatchlings were "clearly in distress," but they warn that disturbing or even touching any nest or hatchling is against federal law.

The endangered sea turtles nest along Florida's beaches from May 1 to October 31, and while those who have lived through many turtle seasons may have participated in such rescues, both visitors and residents are encouraged to call law enforcement when they find disoriented turtles.

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