When Brian Reece spotted something large and brown in the surf at South Island – known as the Yawkey-South Island Reserve – on Saturday, he figured it was a log washing up on the isolated beach south of Georgetown.
Reece, a Wildlife Technician and one of a few South Carolina Department of Natural Resources employees that live on the island, was on a weekend excursion to the beach with friends and family.
Soon, Reece realized it wasn't a log in the surf, but a rare leatherback turtle.
“A lot of stuff washes up out there, but as soon as I saw what it was, I figured something would have to be done about it,” said Reece. “I figured there was something wrong with it.”
Reece has worked at the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center on the island for 10 years, and he has seen plenty of loggerhead turtles.