The StarNews of Wilmington reported Thursday that Mary Marwitz of the Holden Beach Turtle Patrol says volunteers saw the turtle earlier this week. She estimated the turtle at 6-feet-long and 800 pounds.
Marwitz watched the turtle for about 30 minutes early Tuesday until she went back out to sea. Volunteers then moved about 70 eggs to an area away from the high tide line. They staked off the nest to alert beachgoers and added grates and fox cages to stop predators from eating the eggs. Leatherbacks are the largest living reptiles in the world and are endangered. Marwitz says they usually prefer to nest farther south than North Carolina.