NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – Four sea turtle nests were vandalized overnight, according to the North Myrtle Beach Sea Turtle Patrol.
Volunteers discovered the vandalism around dawn on Wednesday morning along the beach near 12th Ave North.
The nests should have a cage, a pole and a rope to protect them, said Linda Mataya with the North Myrtle Beach Sea Turtle Patrol. Four were missing this morning.
Fortunately, the four egg chambers are still intact, Mataya said.
Volunteers tell News13 this is the worst vandalism they’ve ever seen and they’ve been involved in their efforts for 10 years. It took volunteers two hours to find one of the egg cavities after the markers were stolen.
We’re told there are 17 other nests in the North Myrtle Beach/Cherry Grove area that were not harmed. The total, 21, is much greater than last year’s total of just one.
2019 has seen a record-breaking number of sea turtle nests in South Carolina, and other states in the Southeast.
Sea turtles are protected by federal law. Heavy fines and jail time can be imposed on those caught disturbing the animals.
Officials have not said whether anyone will be charged in the case.
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