World's most endangered sea turtles hatch on Hilton Head Island

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WTVD) -- Town officials on Hilton Head Island tweeted about some exciting news Thursday: the hatching of several critically endangered sea turtles.

The Kemp's ridley hatchlings emerged in the morning, in what is believed to be a first for Hilton Head.

"This Kemps Ridley's nest was the first of its kind recorded on Hilton Head Island and only the 4th ever recorded in South Carolina," the tweet read in part.

Pictures show the turtles making their way to the sea.

"Our hopes are high that these hatchlings will survive their epic journey to the sea."

The Kemp's ridley turtle is the world's most endangered sea turtle, according to National Geographic.

Officials said the primary threat to the species is the over-harvesting of their eggs, even though their nesting grounds are protected.

Females are not sexually mature until they are 10-12. Once maturity is reached, turtles nest every one to three years.

The turtles have an average life span of 50 years and could weigh up to 100 pounds.
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