Under the light of the moon, shelled creatures emerge from the ocean and make their way onto the sandy shoreline. They drag their bodies through the sand until one by one, they stop. Each migrant reptile will use her back flippers to dig a hole in the sand, depositing up to 100 eggs before covering them again for protection. The new mother will then follow the moonlight back into the safety of the ocean. It's early summer along this seashore, and something spectacular is occurring: it’s sea turtle nesting season along the Outer Banks in North Carolina.
A couple of months later, tiny turtles will emerge from the sand and their shells and begin the seemingly impossible journey back into the ocean, on the same sand their mother did years or even decades earlier. Although they face many challenges, these magnificent creatures are worth protecting.
This week on America’s National Parks: the sea turtles of Cape Hatteras National Seashore.