PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - Early Friday morning, a loggerhead sea turtle came ashore in the Pass to lay upward of 100 eggs.
"This is a very rare occurrence here on the mainland," explained IMMS research assistant Lauren Cooley. "We're very excited to see this nest in Pass Christian."
Institute for Marine Mammal studies officials have roped off the nest located across from Courtney Road, and ask that residents do not disturb the area. Officials say sea turtles rarely make it to the mainland to lay their eggs.
"Most of our sea turtles in Mississippi lay their eggs out on the barrier islands, so we only get about one or two nests a year," said Cooley.
If all goes well, the team will be welcoming baby loggerhead turtles by September.
"We'll have members of our stranding team stopping by periodically hopefully a couple times a week for the next couple of months just to monitor the nest," Cooley added.
Loggerhead turtles are considered a threatened species. Once fully grown, the sea turtles can reach over 3 feet in length and weigh up to 400 pounds.