KY couple responsible for putting baby sea turtles in GA hotel trash can

Updated: Jul. 27, 2018 at 3:28 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Kentucky couple is under investigation for taking sea turtles from the beach to their hotel room while on vacation in Tybee Island, Georgia.

A housekeeper found six baby loggerhead turtles in a trash can filled with water in a room she was cleaning.

That room was under the names of Danielle Tosh and Michael House, of Nelson County.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Baby sea turtles taken from nest, found in Tybee Island hotel trash can

The couple initially told police they found the turtles in the hotel parking lot. However, deputies knew it was highly unlikely that the turtles had wandered that far away from the water.

After further questioning, the pair confessed they took the turtles from the beach back to their hotel room. Tosh and House told police they were intoxicated at the time. They also said other people were grabbing the baby turtles, so they took some too -- putting them in cups of water.

Thankfully, the turtles were still alive. The housekeeper contacted the Marine Science Center, who came to get the turtles. Many of them have been released back into the wild.

Loggerhead turtle nests are protected because so few baby turtles make it to the sea naturally. Human interference can make matters much worse.

WTOC, in Georgia, talked to the Marine Science Center about how often this type of thing happens.

"Luckily, it's a rarity. This is the first time for us on Tybee Island," Chantal Audran of the Tybee Island Marine Science Center said. "We also have each of our own individual nests. We have a number to call if there is any kind of activity that needs to be reported."

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That number, if one is vacationing on Tybee Island, is 1-800-2-SAVE-ME (272-8363).

The investigation is ongoing, and includes officials from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Tosh and House could face stiff penalties.

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