Leo the Loggerhead Turtle off to rehab after washing up on Clare shore
Going to special unit for rehydration
EFFORTS are continuing to rehydrate a loggerhead turtle that washed up on a beach this week.
The medium sized turtle, usually found at this time of year around the Cape Verde Islands of the coast of Africa, was found stranded at Seafield near Quilty, Co Clare on Tuesday night.
It is just the third recording of the species on Irish shores. The previous recordings were in 2008 in Wexford and Mayo.
The turtle which was named “Leon” after the famous shipwreck off Quilty, was transported to Galway Atlantiquarium yesterday (Thursday), where attempts are being made to rehabilitate it.
The alarm was raised by local woman Lorna King who found the turtle and quickly reported it to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) and the Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation.
Group members Dr Simon Berrow and John Flynn visited the beach and recovered the live loggerhead which has a curved carapace length of measuring 60cm.
Dr Berrow, IWDG project manager said: “You might see a loggerhead turtle wash up every couple or three years but not very often at all. This is a medium sized turtle and was in a bad way when found.”
Dr Berrow confirmed that it could take several months for the rehabilitation process before thoughts of returning the turtle to the sea are even considered.
“It’s hard to know what will happen then. Larger turtles can usually find their way back to warmer waters but the smaller ones are not strong enough.”
The loggerhead sea turtle is found in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea.