Wednesday 7 December 2016

Warm weather leaves shell-shocked turtles stranded on Irish shores

Published 23/12/2015 | 02:30

Marine biologists Dr Kevin Flannery and Dr Grace Flannery with the young loggerhead turtle which was washed up at Carnsore Point. Photo: Don MacMonagle
Marine biologists Dr Kevin Flannery and Dr Grace Flannery with the young loggerhead turtle which was washed up at Carnsore Point. Photo: Don MacMonagle
Photo: Don MacMonagle

Loggerhead sea turtles have been washing up on Irish beaches due to warm southerly winds that have kept temperatures high in the run-up to Christmas.

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At least three of the creatures that originate in the Gulf of Mexico have been found on beaches in an unconscious state. A fisheries expert has asked members of the public to contact a vet if they see one of the turtles on a beach. Dr Kevin Flannery was caring for a loggerhead found at Carnsore Point in Co Wexford but it didn't survive.

The turtle weighed about 25kg and was thought to be a young animal. They can weigh up to 135kg when fully grown and can live for up to 100 years.

An endangered species, they are found in warm waters off the Pacific and Indian Oceans as well as in the Mediterranean Sea. Others washed up at Crookhaven in Co Cork and also on a beach in east Cork.

Irish Independent

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