South Carolina beach warns people to leave sea turtles alone

Published: Apr. 30, 2018 at 11:38 AM EDT
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April 30, 2018

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — City officials in one of South Carolina's primary beach destinations are reminding people that they can face stiff penalties if they disturb sea turtles during the upcoming nesting season.

Myrtle Beach officials issued the warning on their Facebook page ahead of sea turtle nesting season that starts May 1.

Officials said police have had reports of people beaming flashlights on turtles as they come on shore at night to nest. There have also been reports of people scaring away turtles.

Officials say it's illegal to feed, touch or disturb the turtles, including shining a light on them. It says federal penalties include jail time and fines of up to $15,000.

The Sun News reports sea turtle species are covered under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Turtle Protection Act.