SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida police officer saved nearly 100 baby sea turtles when he gathered the newly hatched creatures from a hotel parking lot and street and released them into the Gulf of Mexico.

Sarasota Police officer Derek Conley was on patrol at 1 a.m. Saturday when he saw sea turtle hatchlings crawling toward the front door of a beach resort. A passerby also told Conley that several dozen other baby turtles were also walking around the parking lot.

Conley, along with some resort guests, scooped up the hatchlings in a box and released them into the water. He also stopped traffic several times so the turtles weren’t injured.

A news release says that Conley also called two area marine rescue groups.

Sea turtles nest from May 1-Oct. 31 in Florida.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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