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Rarest of sea turtles caught on video in Venice

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Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 1:46 pm

VENICE, FL. - Sea turtle season is here and yellow stakes and bright ribbons are starting to pop up on area beaches.

Up and down the coast you are starting to see the first signs of our annual guests.

A few days ago along Venice Beach, Adam Sando and his son Cole saw something different. "As we are walking out my son says dad look right there."

Dad quickly fired up the cell phone. "As I saw it happening I said I have to video this. This is awesome."

They captured the whole thing, from laying the eggs to covering the nest to the journeying back out into the gulf. "I thought it was defiantly a rare thing to see, but I didn't have any idea how rare."

Adam called Mote Marine Laboratory. "As soon as I described it to her she says hold on send me what you have."

Biologists with Mote quickly identified the sea turtle as the rarest of all, a Kemps Ridley, which is considered critically endangered. "I didn't realize they were endangered until now," says Adam.

Mote Marine says unlike loggerhead sea turtles, which nest at night, Kemp's Ridleys nest during the day. They also weigh less, so the tracks they leave behind are often obscured by the time patrollers are on a beach the following morning. So far this year, 13 loggerhead nests have also been found between Venice and Longboat Key. More than 2,200 were marked last year.

Adam says he plans to monitor this one. "When you are actually two feet from the mother turtle doing that there is a connection right there. It's cool."

Mote says Adam and Cole did all the right things by observing from a safe distance and not interfering with what was going on.

Beachgoers need to keep an eye out through the end of October.

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