Sea turtles return to Sanibel after Elsa

Reporter: Stephanie Byrne Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
sea turtles
Credit: SCCF

Sea turtles are returning to Sanibel Island after Elsa moved through Southwest Florida. One turtle headed back to the Gulf after laying eggs in a new nest Monday morning.

While we’re waiting on final numbers still, the group did tell WINK News that on Sanibel, 46 of the 85 nests that lost stakes still have eggs. Unfortunately, 39 of the nests washed away.

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) has been working hard and keeping an eye on the nests.

“It’s real natural. It’s not touristy. Keep it simple. We really liked it,” said Scott Erickson, property manager at Tropical Winds.

He oversees a little slice of paradise and enjoys their wildlife neighbors. “It’s wonderful. All the rabbits and the birds.”

After only being property manager for about a month, Elsa gave him a wet welcome.

“It wasn’t bad at all. It was just like a thunderstorm. A lot of little wind. But luckily it didn’t do any more damage,” Erickson said.

Elsa did do some damage to nests around the island, so SCCF put up new stakes to mark nests that weren’t washed away.

As for the ones Scott and his wife can see, they all look good. “We checked them a couple of times during the storm, made sure they weren’t being damaged. Not that we could have done anything about it but we like to keep an eye on them.”

WINK News reached out to the CROW Clinic on Sanibel to check on wildlife patients. They say they didn’t see many patients that had been directly affected by Elsa.

Over at the Peace River Wildlife Center in Charlotte County, they’ve had an uptick in patients since the storm, including tiny doves, baby woodpeckers and baby bats.

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