Rare Sea Turtle Died After Getting Trapped in a Barstool

Animal lovers are mourning the tragic loss of a critically endangered Kempís ridley sea turtle who died after becoming trapped in a barstool.

This week the South Walton Turtle Watch, a group of trained volunteers who locate and protect sea turtles and their nests in Florida, shared heartbreaking images showing the Kempís ridley trapped in the legs of the stool.

This is so very sad, and so easy to stop. Please do not leave your items, anything, on the beach. We did get this…

Posted by South Walton Turtle Watch on†Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The sea turtle had been pulled from the water off Dune Allen Beach in the Gulf of Mexico by a resident, but was already dead by the time she was discovered.

Sharon Maxwell, the head of the turtle watch group, speculated that the barstool may have fallen from a boat or was lost from a beachside restaurant, but itís another tragic reminder about how our actions are affecting sea turtles and other marine life.

ďNormally they would perform a necropsy (to determine how the turtle died), but she was too far gone,Ē Maxwell told the Northwest Florida Daily News. ďItís really sad. Thereís no way we can tell how or when she died. We hate it.Ē

Itís a tragic loss for Kempís ridley sea turtles, who are now the rarest species of sea turtles in the world.

As recently as the late 1940s, more than 40,000 of these sea turtles were seen nesting on a single beach in Mexico, but their numbers have declined drastically over the years in large part due to over-harvesting of both turtles and their eggs. By the mid-1980s, there were only 702 nests counted.

These sea turtles are now protected as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act, but theyíre still listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. While a bi-national recovery effort between the U.S. and Mexico has helped them rebound some in Gulf of Mexico, the only place they nest, there are still now only believed to be a few hundred nesting females left in existence.

While some threats to their nests have been mitigated, theyíre still in danger of being entangled in fishing gear, killed as bycatch, harassed by beachgoers, and continue to suffer as a result of development and encounters with our waste.

Unfortunately, this case involving a barstool isnít an isolated incident. Last month, another Kempís ridley was found dead in Alabama after having become entangled in a beach chair.

WARNING! Graphic
This Kemps Ridley which in on the endangered list was found this morning with this chair around itís…

Posted by Fort Morgan Share the Beach on†Saturday, July 14, 2018

Now, the South Walton Turtle Watch and other groups are encouraging people to make sure they take everything with them when leaving beaches to prevent incidents like this from happening.

Maxwell added that she and other volunteers walk the beach every morning to look for new nests and often find trash, chairs, tents and other beach items that have been left behind overnight, which can injure or entrap sea turtles, or force them to turn around if they canít get to a safe place to nest.

Hopefully these incidents will help inspire people to be more mindful of leaving no trace.


hELEN h5 months ago


HEIKKI R5 months ago

thank you

Anette S
Anette S5 months ago

What the hell is going on with so many people? Didn't their parents teach them anything? Or are the parents their worst role model and also throw everything into the environment because they are too lazy to go to the next bin or bring their trash home? There are a no good fairies or a leprechaun who takes care of your trash - keep the environment clean, everybody!

S M5 months ago

Unfortunate, sad.
It is the materials we use these days for our clutter that is the trace.

Laura K
Laura K5 months ago


Ruth S
Ruth S5 months ago


Winn A
Winn A5 months ago

:-( This didn't have to happen . . . . . . . . .

Nicole Heindryckx
Nicole Heindryckx5 months ago

@ DEBORAH W. : Sorry to disagree. My comments for Mr. Paul Cole also apply to you. NOT A. L. L. of us are so negligent and filthy, lazy, .........

Nicole Heindryckx
Nicole Heindryckx5 months ago

@ Paul Cole : I can not accept that you generalize this filthy attitude to ALL PEOPLE. Sorry for giving you a green star, it was just because I was so surprised of your way of thinking. There are thousands of volunteers, who, each year on several occasions remove all the trash and filth we leave behind in forests, in parks, on the beaches, in the dunes, even in the streets. I don't know how the situation is where you live, but we have trash bins of the community in several places, especially where busses or trams stop, on crossing points, near schools, etc.. However, at less than 100 meters from these bins, one can find tins, plastic or cardboard boxes with some remains of a burger or french fries, and a lot of other filth, although the use of these bins is totally free of any charge. You just open the lid, put your trash in it, and close the lid again.... I fully agree that SOME people are that negligent, BUT NOT ALL OF US !!

Nicole Heindryckx
Nicole Heindryckx5 months ago

@ KAY B : thanks for making this remark. Of course, a storm or heavy winds can cause some stools to be blown onto the beach or into the water. However, I think that more than ONE should pop up, with or without a dead animal. If there had been a storm, many more bar stools or chairs (all made of plastic now because of the light weight) should be found on the beach or in the water. And without doubt, after a certain number of days, these stools and chairs would be found damaged in a certain region adjacent to the place of the heavy winds. However, in both cases, nobody is mentioning bad weather, or the fact that part of the lost material was found back. And when people all left the bar, the chairs or stools are stacked together and chained together onto poles or hooks made in the walls of the bar. This avoids loss of this material over night impossible. Again, thank you for bringing this to our attention, but here, I think it was not the case.