In the overnight hours an ATV belonging to the Gulf Islands National Seashore park was stolen from a locked POD at Park East. Areas around surrounding sand dunes were searched in hope someone had taken it for a joy ride, but it now appears the vehicle was loaded up and removed from the area.
The 2006 green Honda ATV, as shown below, has the letter 'Q' on it, near the gas tank. While it may already be off-island, we can still keep our eyes and ears open for any information which may possibly lead to its return. Whoever took it may keep it for their own use in a rural area, repaint it and try to sell it, or even go for bragging rights of the theft, but your help is needed.
The loss of this ATV, worth approximately $5,000, could hardly have come at a worse time. Sea turtle hatchlings are beginning to emerge and these ATV are used to patrol our beaches to make sure each nest is attended when that happens. Marine biologist Kirsten Dahlen says she and park rangers also search for disoriented nesting turtles who sometimes get caught in the heat of the day and work to get them back in the gulf waters.
Having to patrol on foot now could mean the loss of many hatchlings to sea birds, ghost crabs, heat, or traffic so not only the park but our tiny turtles need your help!
Like me, many people try to be optimistic and look for the good in people. We are sometimes sadly disappointed when situations like this occur. Put out the word and ask everyone in the area to join in.
If you have any information, please contact Gulf Breeze dispatch at 850-916-3010.
"Calling all angels, I need you near to the ground."
~~ Lenny Kravitz