Cornwall

Cornwall loggerhead turtle: Stranded Tallulah defies death fear

Tallulah
Image caption Staff at Newquay's Blue Reef aquarium say the turtle, which they have named Tallulah, could now be released into the wild again

A tiny loggerhead turtle that was expected to die after being stranded on a beach has made a remarkable recovery.

The barnacle-encrusted youngster was found stranded at Gwithian beach, Cornwall, on 6 January.

Its body temperature was so low it could not move or eat and it had to be tube-fed while being slowly warmed up at Newquay's Blue Reef aquarium.

Staff there say the turtle, which they have named Tallulah, could be released into the wild again.

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Tallulah was washed up during a spike in strandings caused by winter storms.

Image copyright David Fenwick
Image caption The young barnacle-encrusted loggerhead turtle was found stranded at Gwithian beach in Cornwall on 6 January

The turtle, which started life in the Caribbean, should have had a body temperature of 27C (80F), but it had dropped to 7C (45F).

Kyle Wingfield from the aquarium said staff feared for its life.

"The tank was run on a chiller to keep it really cold and every day we would raise the temperature by a degree," he said.

"When she first arrived it was mainly about rehydrating, her so we had to insert a tube into her stomach."

The turtle had to be tube-fed every 90 minutes, but is now eating for itself.

Its favourite meal is squid although it also eats mackerel.

It is not on public display to allow it to be monitored in a quarantine area.

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