Oregon Coast Aquarium officials are trying to save a large tropical sea turtle that obviously took a wrong turn somewhere between the tropics and Oregon’s rather cool ocean waters. Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network’s Jim Rice said it appears that the male Green Sea Turtle may have found itself trapped inside a warm pocket of water, surrounding by colder water. Once the warm water dissipated, the turtle was exposed to much lower temperatures which caused it to go into a hibernation-like state. It could neither eat nor properly navigate to warmer water.
A tourist walking along Moolack Beach noticed the turtle and called authorities. Rice, along with others from the Oregon Coast Aquarium came out and improvised a rather creative turtle removing tactic as you can see in the photo. Upon arrival at the Aquarium, the turtle was immediately injected with fluids to hydrate it. They say once the turtle’s body temperature rises to a normal range it will receive anti-biotics. After that it can be transferred to a warm water rehabilitation facility.
Officials say they don’t know how sick the animal is. They’re waiting for it to warm up and take food. They say they can’t do an x-ray on the animal since his shell is so dense and thick. However they added “It would be great to have access to a CT scan.” They say there was no flipper or shell breakage and that it does not appear to be as severely compromised as other turtles they’ve rescued.
Officials say anyone who finds a sea turtle on the beach should immediately contact the Oregon State Police Wildlife Hotline at 800-452-7888.
All sea turtles are protected under the Endangered Species Act.