Sea turtles are stunning marine reptiles that are well adapted to ocean life. In fact, they are found in all oceans aside from the world’s coldest.
They are a favorite among divers, swimmers, and marine lovers alike for their inquisitive nature and unique appearance.
Sea turtles have been around for a very long time, since the time of the dinosaurs to be specific.
But are sea turtles friendly? Well, in this post we’re going to find out.
Let’s take a look…
Are Sea Turtles Actually Friendly?
So are turtles friendly? Well, not exactly. These reptiles are not particularly affectionate and prefer to be left alone when seen in the wild.
Sadly they don’t share the same affection or friendliness that we have toward them. Many children grow up understanding that turtles are friendly as they are seen to be so in cartoons.
However, in reality, they are not so friendly and should always be approached with caution or not at all. They do pack a nasty bite that can inflict a lot of damage to human flesh, so it’s wise to not get too close to them.
Whilst not a threat to humans or aggressive towards them, sea turtles are not particularly friendly in the fact that they much prefer to stay clear of humans and don’t allow them to get too close.
Sea turtles are prey for many animals and have been since birth. In fact, less than 0.1% of sea turtle hatchlings make it to the water after birth because of predators such as birds.
This means sea turtles have a very slim chance of survival in the wild, they are constantly being hunted, chased and at risk, so it’s no surprise that they don’t want to take any chances with humans.
Sea turtles are survivalists, they learn how to survive, forage for food and how to stay safe. They don’t have the same thought patterns as some mammals and other species.
They run on instinctual intelligence, which helps to keep them safe in the wild. They stay away from predators and are not overly concerned about making friends.
Are Sea Turtles Gentle?
The sea turtle is known to be a majestic and curious animal. Known for their gentle nature, they will glide around in the ocean effortlessly seeking food.
Sea turtles are gentle, harmless animals in the wild, but be sure not to get too close to comfort as they can have a nasty bite if they feel threatened.
The good news is that sea turtles often swim close to shorelines which means they are able to interact with humans.
Coastal waters in Australia, Greece, Turkey, and Egypt all have some amazing waters where you can swim with turtles. Just be sure to respect their personal space and I am sure you will have an experience you will never forget.
Are Sea Turtles Aggressive Towards Humans?
Sea turtles are not aggressive toward humans. However, as mentioned above they run from survival instincts which means if they feel threatened they may strike you with a nasty bite.
Sea turtles have sharp beaks and a very powerful bite force, which means a bite from one can cause serious injury to humans and leave you with nasty bruises and scarring.
They will only attack you if they feel that they need to defend themselves, which is why it’s important not to get too close to them in the wild or try to invade their personal space.
Their bite force is incredible, and if they get a good grip on you they can even break bones. If you do happen to see a sea turtle in the wild, remember to keep your distance and respect their boundaries.
Can I Touch A Sea Turtle?
Sea turtles are endangered and protected by the Endangered Species Act, therefore it is illegal to touch a sea turtle in the wild.
There have been reports of tourists on holidays in the likes of Hawaii receiving $1500 fines for touching sea turtles because of this law.
But the fine isn’t the only cause for concern, as mentioned above, sea turtles aren’t particularly friendly animals and you should not approach a distance where you could touch one.
They have a nasty bite and do not like their space being invaded. Don’t get too close to sea turtles as they are not afraid of biting you and warning you off.
Touching wild marine life is not OK and should never be done. Turtles, rays, sharks, and other marine life can become vulnerable to harmful bacteria through human contact, leaving them open to disease.
These animals rely on a protective film that is all around their body to keep infection out, so touching them can damage this film and really affect their immune system.
Whilst it can be a magical experience being in close proximity to wild sea turtles, never try to touch one as it is illegal and wrong on multiple levels.
Respect the turtle’s boundaries and they will respect you.
So are sea turtles friendly? No, not particularly. Although they are inquisitive and gentle by nature, they are also survivalists that do not take any risks with anyone that could be a danger to them.
This is why it’s wise not to get too close to them in the wild as they do pack a nasty bite that if bitten can leave you with some serious injuries.
Besides the fact that it is illegal to touch wild sea turtles due to them being protected, it can also harm them and leave them exposed to disease and illness.
Hopefully, this post has answered your question and been helpful in learning if sea turtles are friendly. Although they are not particularly dangerous or aggressive towards humans, they are not super friendly either.
Be cautious with wild sea turtles if you invade their personal space and get too close they won’t hesitate to snap at you.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post about sea turtles, I hope it has been helpful for you.
Hi, I’m George – the founder of MarinePatch. I created this blog as marine wildlife has been my passion for many years. I’ve spent over a decade in the marine wildlife industry and spent years out in the field conducting research. In today’s modern world, an online blog is the best place for me to share my findings and reach as many people as possible to help educate and inspire others. Enjoy your time here and you’re welcome back anytime!