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Turtle Menai found at Anglesey is flown to Gran Canaria

image copyrightAnglesey Sea Zoo
image captionMenai shortly before it left Anglesey Sea Zoo

A rare sea turtle which washed up on an Anglesey beach has been flown to Gran Canaria ahead of its expected release.

The animal, nicknamed Menai, is an Olive Ridley turtle, which are usually found in warmer waters near the equator.

Menai is the first such turtle to have been reported in UK waters since records began almost 200 years ago.

Staff at Anglesey Sea Zoo, who cared for Menai, said it ate about 2kg of calamari a day as part of its recovery.

Menai is expected to have several more weeks in a rehabilitation centre before being released back into the wild following a ship-bound journey closer to the equator.

It was discovered last November near to Anglesey Sea Zoo, Brynsiencyn, which became its UK home while it was nursed back to health after being carried for thousands of miles on the currents.

Scans by staff at Royal Veterinary College, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, discovered Menai was suffering lung damage.

Zoo boss Frankie Horbo, who accompanied Menai on its trip to the Spanish island, said it had "survived against the odds".

She told BBC Radio Wales' Good Evening Wales programme the fact Menai has "fully recovered and is fit for release back into the wild is nothing short of a miracle".

image copyrightAnglesey Sea Zoo
image captionMenai weighed 20kg when she was first found but now weights 38kg
image captionMenai received a CAT scan at Hertfordshire's Royal Veterinary College last January

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