It’s unfortunate, but on occasion, guests may find an injured, sick or dead sea turtle. Read on to learn what to do in the case of this event:



How do I know if it’s a sea turtle?

If it’s in the ocean or on the beach, it is most likely a sea turtle.  If it’s inland, on a road (not next to the beach), on the causeway, in the forest or in a freshwater pond, it is most likely NOT a sea turtle, but rather a freshwater turtle, terrapin, box turtle or tortoise. Click here to learn the difference between these different types of turtles.

Georgia, horseshoe crabs mating

Horseshoe crabs and tracks can sometimes be confused with a stranded sea turtle.

BLO20140131-01 (1)

A live stranded green sea turtle, “Mantanuska,” found on Jekyll Island.


How do you know if a sea turtle is injured, sick, or possibly dead?

A sea turtle seen on the beach, not of it’s own will (i.e. nesting), or floating in the ocean/surf that hasn’t moved on it’s own in 30 minutes or more, can be considered injured, sick or dead.

How do you report an injured, sick or dead sea turtle?


Call the Georgia Department of Natural Resources:

1-800-2saveme (800-272-8363)

When all else fails, call the state patrol for assistance.



Click here for a list of who to call for each coastal state within the
Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network.

What type of information should you provide when you make this report?

Please provide as much of the following information:

  1. Exact location including county, city/town, beach, landmarks, etc.
  2. Approximate size of the turtle
  3. Situation such as if the turtle is on the beach, floating in he surf, caught on a fishing line, etc.
  4. Any external injuries you may see such as fishing line wrapped around it’s flipper, a boat propeller wound, missing flippers, etc.
  5. Leave your name and a contact phone number in case someone needs to contact you for more assistance and/or information regarding this report.


What if I find an injured reptile (that is NOT a sea turtle) or bird?

9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
Call The Georgia Sea Turtle Center:

After Hours
Call the Jekyll Island Wildlife Response phone: