Endangered Sea Turtle Rescued in Mass., Fighting for His Life - NECN

Endangered Sea Turtle Rescued in Mass., Fighting for His Life

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    Endangered sea turtle rescued in Mass., fighting for his life

    7-foot, 655-pound leatherback is underweight, being treated for dehydration, trauma and shock; being cared for at New England Aquarium’s Animal Care Center (Published Friday, Jan. 17, 2014)

    (NECN) - Marine biologists at the New England Aquarium are working to save a 7-foot, 655-pound endangered sea turtle.

    Staff from the Mass Audubon Sanctuary at Wellfleet Bay located and identified the huge, black, sea-going turtle just before dark Wednesday on a mud flat in Truro, near the tip of Cape Cod.

    Because of the bad lighting conditions, a full rescue had to be postponed until Thursday morning.

    The lethargic, 7-foot long turtle at 655 pounds is actually underweight, although not emaciated. Leatherback sea turtles are the world’s largest reptile, and adults commonly weigh in excess of 1000 pounds.

    Rescue staff drew blood to evaluate the animal’s health and started administering drugs to treat it for dehydration, trauma and shock.

    Aquarium medical staff immediately noticed the turtle’s unfortunately distinctive left front flipper that was about a foot and a half shorter than the three-foot long right one. About 40-percent of that paddle was gone due to some kind of recent trauma.

    The animal’s prognosis is poor as in order to strand, it had to become critically ill.

    This is only the fifth time in 40 years that a leatherback has been found stranded in Massachusetts.

    Photo: New England Aquarium

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    Photo: New England Aquarium

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    Photo: Mass Audubon

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    Photo: Mass Audubon
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