It's not every day you see 96 baby sea turtles crawl towards the sea on a beach in Queens. In fact, it was the first time the phenomenon has been documented, according to the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation in New York.
Kemp's ridley sea turtles are the most endangered sea turtle in the world. The startled scientists on Rockaway Peninsula believe this is the farthest north a sea turtle has ever nested on the U.S. Atlantic Coast. Kemp's ridley sea turtles normally nest in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the National Park Service, but their overall range does include the north Atlantic Coast.
You can watch the young turtles get their bearings and head toward the ocean in the video below:
A rare sight in Rockaway Peninsula
A turtle was spotted laying over 100 eggs in the western section of Rockaway Peninsula in July, and the eggs hatched during the last week of September.
During the incubation period, National Park Service workers were able to excavate the nest and save it from extreme high tides.
Fishing, human activities and harvesting of the eggs are the main causes for the decline of the population of Kemp's ridley sea turtles, which were placed on the endangered species list in 1970.
Kemp's ridley sea turtles are known to nest on the beaches where they were hatched, so this may not be the last time we hear about this rare species checking out the beaches of New York.