CURRITUCK COUNTY, N.C. — A sea turtle had to be euthanized after it was hit by a vehicle Currituck County on July 9.
The turtle was severely injured while it was in a protected nest area. After receiving medical care, the Network for Endangered Turtles (N.E.S.T) said they ultimately had to put her down.
Responding volunteers located a nest she successfully laid and provided protection to the incubating eggs.
A patrolling law enforcement officer found the turtle with a crushed shell and called the N.E.S.T hotline. Volunteers transported the turtle to the STAR Center at the N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island and found the freshly-laid nest of 100 eggs, according to the N.E.S.T.
N.E.S.T. reminds drivers to use cation on 4x4s on the beach at night. Protected nests are marked with a perimeter of reflective tape and hatching season continues through September.
Sea turtles are protected by the Endangered Species act. Punishment for harming nests or turtles include fines up to $25,000 and six months imprisonment.
Anyone who has information about either event should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Enforcement hotline at 844-397-8477.