Kids Learn Right Way to Rescue a Stranded Sea Turtle

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BRIGANTINE, N.J. -

The Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine is dedicated to the rescuing and rehabilitation of sea critters.

In hopes of helping to educate the public, the South Jersey facility has been showing children what to do if they come across a stranded mammal or sea turtle.

Let’s say you’re just here enjoying your day at the beach when you notice a stranded sea turtle.

Do you go up to it?

Do you push it back in?

Or do you post it on Facebook?

The Marine Mammal Stranding Center is hosting a summer program where they’re teaching children the proper things to do when they notice a marine mammal stranded ashore.

“It’s really important to start at a young age, just to really drive it home and make them understand,” said Sarah Miele, education coordinator for the Marine Mammal Stranding Center (MMSC).

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Children of all ages and their parents have been learning the proper steps when it comes to discovering a washed up sea mammal.

Though the public's intentions might be good, it’s best to leave it to the experts.

“We don’t necessarily want anyone going up and touching an animal on the beach, because we don’t know what’s wrong with it until we can get to it,” said Miele.

The kids got a hands-on lesson to see how the MMSC handles these situations.

“I thought I knew everything until I took this class,” said Todd Rado, who participated in the lesson. “It’s very interesting, I hope I can do it one day.”

Once they spotted the stranded sea turtle, the children got to work keeping it hydrated and shaded before transferring it to the MMSC.

“Once we get a call and have an idea where it is, we’ll send volunteers out to make sure the scene is secure," said Miele. "Nobody bothers the turtle until our technicians can get out on [the] scene."

Whether it’s a real or mock rescue, one of the points that Miele highlighted to the class was to take care of our beaches and ocean, so the ocean can take care of the sea creatures.

“It’s very important that we all learn so we can keep the ocean clean and make sure this doesn’t happen to most sea turtles and any marine mammals," said Miele.

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