In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, wildlife species may be displaced into inappropriate or marginal habitats, often in areas with which they may not be familiar. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) urges the public to be especially cognizant of wildlife forced into populated areas by floodwater from the storm.
Rising waters can provide a conduit for sea turtles and marine mammals like dolphins to enter otherwise inaccessible waterbodies, including those adjacent to residential and commercial areas where they may come into contact with residents.
As waters recede, animals may become trapped as their pathways for egress disappear. LDWF urges citizens to minimize disturbance to such animals; never attempt to feed, capture or handle marine mammals or sea turtles.
Please keep in mind that state and federal laws protect marine mammals and sea turtles and rescue efforts should be left to professionals. Instead, citizens should contact appropriate authorities, leaving detailed information including your name, phone number, location (GPS coordinates, address, or descriptive location), condition (alive or dead), and size of the marine animal.
Trained responders will get to the scene quickly with appropriate equipment and your information will help scientists accurately document each stranding.
Marine Mammals: To report marine mammal strandings or entrapments, contact Audubon Nature Institute’s Coastal Wildlife Network at 504-235-3005.
Sea Turtles: To report sea turtle strandings or entrapments, call 1-844-SEA-TRTL (1-844-732-8785). Select option 4 to report a stranded sea turtle and then option 4 for Louisiana.