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Bristol Aquarium gives life-saving help to sea turtle

image copyrightBristol Aquarium
image captionThe rare sea turtle was found washed up on a beach in Aberystwyth

A rare sea turtle found washed up on a Welsh beach is getting life-saving treatment at Bristol Aquarium after suffering hypothermia and septicaemia.

The Kemp's ridley turtle found in Aberystwyth's North Beach at the weekend is a juvenile, measuring about 30 cm (11 inches) in length.

David Waines from the aquarium said: "Unfortunately this particular turtle is very poorly indeed."

He added the coming days were crucial to see if the creature could recover.

Blood samples have been taken to establish the cause of the infection, but experts believe the turtle has septicaemia which is being treated with antibiotics.

'Chilly waters'

In the meantime, they are re-hydrating the turtle and gradually increasing its temperature which has been recorded at 16 degrees Celcius.

Normally turtles have a temperature of between 24 - 28 degrees Celcius as they live in tropical waters.

It is the second turtle found washed up on a beach this year which has been looked after by the aquarium.

"We are doing all we can, with the help of a vet who is an expert in marine turtles to try and stabilize his condition.

"Turtles only strand in the UK when there is something seriously wrong with them.

"They tend to fall victim to our chilly waters and gradually become more and more lethargic until they lapse into unconsciousness," added Mr Waines.

Kemp's ridleys live in the Gulf of Mexico, but the juveniles spend their time in the Atlantic, travelling some 6,000 miles on ocean currents until they mature.

In 1985, their population fell to a few hundred nesting females. Since then numbers have risen, with some 10,000 nests laid at Rancho Nuevo, Mexico, annually.

The turtle creature will kept away from public display while it is recovering.

The aquarium has advised that any sea turtles found washed up on the beach should not be put back in the water, but for people to contact British Divers Marine Life Rescue.

image copyrightBristol Aquarium
image captionJuvenile Kemp's ridleys travel some 6,000 miles in the ocean until they mature

Related Topics

  • Bristol
  • Aberystwyth
  • Marine biology

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