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Can We Touch Sea Turtles?

No matter how much you feel like running your hands over those beautiful shells that cover sea turtles, you need to be careful of touching them. Sea turtles don’t like to be touched for they fear intruders that much. It is common knowledge that touching a sea turtle can bring you a fine. Hence the best is to view their beauty for afar than try to get close to them. The safe distance from a sea turtle is around 50 yards and that is quite enough for you to observe this magnificent marine animal.

As discussed in previous articles, it is best to stay away from sea turtles and avoid touching them. They are prone to causing harm to you and you need to be aware of this. Always remember that there is timidity when it comes to adult sea turtles. This is because they never leave the water to venture out on to the shore. Due to the fact that they are an endangered species, you can watch them, but refrain from touching them or getting close to them, the reason being that it is illegal to get close to these magnificent marine animals. You can enjoy them from afar.

If in case you encounter a sea turtle while diving or snorkeling, move your body slowly and keep your hands still. Don’t frighten or touch these sea turtles, as although they see human being all the time underwater, they are indeed wary about them.

It is common knowledge that sea turtles can endanger a diver or snorkeler if the latter gets too close or tries to touch the marine animal. Sea turtles have a tendency to injure divers, swimmers or snorkelers if the turtles are startled or distressed. They could cause harm to human beings. It is not very obvious if you touch a sea turtle, but it can damage the marine animal and cause anxiety to the said animal.

Never touch baby sea turtles scrambling out to see. They lose their sense of direction and try to return to the place where they hatched, thus causing harm to them. If you find that these baby turtles are heading back to land, turn them around and guide them back to the ocean. This is the most you can do, but avoid long contact with them. Once you turn them and act as their guide only, they will find their way to the water. Do not point flashlights at them it disorients the sea turtles and they would head toward land instead of toward the water.

For hygiene sake, if you do happen to touch a sea turtle remember to wash your hands thoroughly, as they harbor the bacteria salmonella. A few points you might want to remember are, do not touch sea turtles, do not take photographs of them with flashlights, do not encircle them with your boasts and suppress their flight under water. If you encounter a sea turtle while in a boat, switch the engine off and let the turtle pass the boat. Never attempt to reach down and push it away.

Whatever you do to sea turtles, remember that touching them can land you in great trouble with the law and you are subject to huge fines, which need to be paid and cannot be evaded. This is because sea turtles are an endangered species and with all the harassment they undergo, they are subject to extinction.

Hence remember that touching sea turtles is taboo when you are on holiday and you need to keep this in mind all the time. Respect their privacy and give them space in their own living area – The Ocean.

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