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This week, Discovery Education was on Kiawah Island, South Carolina to watch the valiant struggles of baby turtles as they hatched and then crawled their way across the wide, sandy beach to the ocean.

At this time in the season, many turtles have already hatched and made their way to the ocean, but volunteers with a group called Turtle Patrol keep track and help turtles that may be delayed or left behind find their way.

Here are some pictures of Turtle Patrol volunteers checking on a nest. On this beautiful morning, they found many empty shells (good news: those turtles made it already) and one baby turtle who needed their help. Look closely at the bucket in the last picture to spy the tiny turtle!







And here is that little turtle from the bucket making the trip from the sand into the sea…. The long stripes of shade on the sand are shadows from the volunteers’ legs; turtles need to crawl into the ocean, but tend to follow the sun and can get confused if it’s too late in the day. Volunteers were there to help them stay on course for the ocean. (See how tiny that baby turtle is, by comparing it to the volunteer’s toe in the third picture!)












Click on the video to see the little guy (or gal!) swimming through the tiny waves crashing over its head….


Amazing facts I learned from the Kiawah Island volunteers who help the turtles every year:

1. The heat of the sand determines the sex of the turtle;

2. These turtles have nests about 24 inches underground;

3. The turtles will return to this same beach in 25 years to lay their own eggs;

4. Some egg shells are empty and serve as spacers in the nest.


  1. Jannita (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    Learning out in the world is amazing… you never know what you’ll encounter when you take a walk :) Watching these turtles emerge was an incredible experience! What’s amazing is that it’s volunteers who watch, record, monitor, and sometimes assist these precious little guys. Let’s come back in 25 years and see if we can figure out which ones were ours!

  2. Phoebe (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    It is so amazing! I love watching about sea life, (not the creepy things). The baby sea turtle is so cute! ;)

  3. Matthew (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    that turtle is so cute!!!!!

  4. jakob (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    facinating :)

  5. Sydnee (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    That is so cool I wish that I could do that too!!!!!!!!!

  6. paige (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    it was awsome when im older i will be able to watch the turtles hatch when im older im olny 9 years old so this paige and ttylxox

  7. Caroline (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    This is so cool! The pictures are so cute! I really would like to do this some time. Thank you guys for helping these little turtles out. Sea turtles make me happy. :-)

    • Gus (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

      Oh, yeah! take that, zoos!

  8. Keaton (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013


  9. Natalie (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    Yay!!!!! So happy the little turtle survived! If it weren’t for valunteers ‘ who knows what could have happend to him!!!!
    I <3 TURTLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Audrey (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    This is amazing. Only one of the turtles needed help.

  11. kiera (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    that was awesome

  12. faith (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    this is so cool
    i love turtles

  13. Jimmy (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    That’s cool I think that title is cute and funny

  14. Jack (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    That was a cool video it was a very small turtle though

  15. Emily (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    That was really cuteā¤
    I have never seen a baby turtle go out to sea!

  16. Melody Rose (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    I am so glad that these caring people are going out there to help poor little baby sea turtles that cannot even make it because of predators and all the lights on the beach from beach houses. I love baby sea turtles!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Jimmy (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    I ment turtle not title sorry tfw

  18. Seth (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    Those turtles, so awesome

  19. Eleanor (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    It is the best thing to see how you can save lives ,big or small.

  20. Tessa (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    Awwwwwww totally adorable

  21. Caleb (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    Awesome video

  22. Jack (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    I lllllllllllooooooooooovvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeee turtles they are awesome

  23. McClaren (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    I’m glad that somebody is taking care of these little balls of joy!!!!! I love turtles!!!!

  24. Anthony (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    TFW turtle for the WIN!

  25. Michael (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    It is great knowing that a new animal was born into the world and now it is in the wild. TFW tirrtle for the win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!,!!!!,

  26. Nick (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    The video was funny.

  27. Max (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    This was nice of those people

  28. Domenick (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    Very cool! Go Turtle Patrol! Your doing the right thing. Keep doing what you’re doing.

  29. Arnaut (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    The baby turtle swam so fast.

  30. Laney (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    As a South Carolina resident, I am fully aware of the sea turtle activity. I am so fascinated by how involved your team is. This video made my day! I love to see community service being done by ordinary South Carolina people. Thanks for sharing!

  31. Michael (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    The turtles are awesome it is happy that a new animal is born into the world

  32. liliana (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    i love turtle

  33. BRENTON (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    THAT IS cute i hope it survives mmmm

  34. tyshaun (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    I LOVE THE turtles.

  35. Ajare (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    I love the turtles they are really nice and cute they have nice kids

  36. Reagan (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    This is sooooo cute! I love it!

  37. Mealani (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    Aww turtles are so cute!

  38. alvin (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    I love that turtl he is strong

  39. David (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    I belive I can swim!

  40. reagan (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    how do i add this to my faverites? help ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. laureleiy (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    love baby turtles so happy you guys are helping them !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. dustin (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    I love baby turtles

  43. Reagan (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    Holy cow! I watched this video like, a thoughsand times> I love turtle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. Isbella (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    That is so cute:).!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish I could be there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:):)

  45. Bella (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    That is so CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish I could be there.

  46. Sabrina (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    Wow you guys are so lucky! i would do anything to watch baby turtles go out to sea. The ocean has so many beautiful creatures huh? its amazing what you can discover by just watching a natural success. Turtles rock!

  47. Emily (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    OMG!!!!!! So cute!!!!!!!!! Never ever saw a baby turtle go out to sea! SOOOOOOOOOO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!

  48. Bella (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    OMG that is SO CUTE AND ADORIBLE I <3 watching there experience!!!!!! SO CUTE SO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE TTTTTTTUUUURRTTLLLES!!!

  49. mavis (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    so cute, i love turtles!

  50. Donny (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    That was so nice to help them baby turtles to the ocean without being eaten or anything like that.

  51. Emily (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    SO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love TURTLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I. <3 watching this!!!!!!!!!!!! Save the turtles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  52. victoria (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    awwww i want to help set baby turtles to the ocean i never been to the ocean so that would be the best field trip ever !!!!!!!!!!!!!:@

  53. Maria (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    OMG I love turtles they are awsome

  54. Eunise (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    TOO cute!!!My classmates at Grahamwood Elementary Memphis,TN loved the video

  55. tatum (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    I sure hope all of the turtles make it. 5-07 from Grahamwood Elementary

  56. Ethan (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    i am glad that the turtles are able to make it! i love turtles and it is so cool to watch them! This is from my great elementary school Grahamwood 5-07

  57. Abbye (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    I wish that almost any turtle makes it without any predators coming to kill them. I just adore turtles!

  58. Aaron (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    that is awesome

  59. Anna (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    i soo wish i had a pet turtle !!!!!!!!!!!!
    they ‘re cute and fun to watch !!!!!!!!!!!!
    i love them !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i cannot stand it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  60. Priyanka (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    soo cute love them

  61. O (Reply) on Friday 13, 2013

    That baby turtle is so cute.
    SAVE THE COAHUILAN BOX TURTLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!