4 year old boy rescues baby sea turtles trapped in Manatee storm drain

Wildlife, Inc. Education & Rehabilitation Center photo

BRADENTON BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) – A four-year-old boy is being hailed a hero after spotting baby sea turtles trapped in a storm drain.

Wildlife, Inc. Education & Rehabilitation Center photo
Wildlife, Inc. Education & Rehabilitation Center photo

On Monday afternoon, 4-year-old Aiden Henson was walking with his family on Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach. They were on their way to buy some beach toys when Aiden spotted something in a storm drain.

“On the way he decided that he needed to look in the drain, and he told me that he saw a crab,” recalled his grandmother Beth.

So they went in for a closer look. “I looked down the drain and I saw one turtle,” said 4-year-old Aiden.

Turns out, there were three turtles swimming in the storm drain on the hot summer afternoon.

“There wasn’t very much water in there and I was afraid it was going to get too warm,” said Beth Henson.

So the family got in touch with the rescue group Wildlife, Inc. Rescuers with the non-profit came by along with some officers from Florida Fish and Wildlife. Together, a group of them worked hard to lift the storm drain.

“It was a struggle with all four of us to raise that up. It’s pretty heavy,” said Ed Straight with Wildlife Inc.

The storm drain led to a retention pond. Straight and his colleagues were concerned for the turtles. “If they’d had gotten into the retention pond, they would’ve all died,” Straight said.

After removing the three sea turtles, they began a search to see if other baby sea turtles were nearby. A fourth turtle was found across the street, and sadly around 10 dead baby sea turtles were found in the area.

“They were really dehydrated. They need to be into the water quite quickly after they hatch,” said Straight.

Straight says a nest was located on the beach nearby, and it appears the baby sea turtles became disoriented and wandered toward the road instead of the water. Baby sea turtles naturally wander toward the bright horizon, and Straight says they can become confused by house lights or vehicle headlights.

Straight says Aiden is a hero for spotting these turtles.

“If he hadn’t have seen them, they would’ve definitely all died,” said Straight.

Get our hottest stories
delivered to your inbox
Sign up for News Channel 8’s Noon Newsletter to get
updates on the day’s top stories

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s