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NewsScottish NewsTropical turtle drifts thousands of miles before washing up on Scots beach

Tropical turtle drifts thousands of miles before washing up on Scots beach

A TROPICAL turtle drifted thousands of miles before washing up on a Scots beach

Scots islander Jane Kindlen stumbled across the loggerhead turtle washed ashore on Iona, Inner Hebrides, on Thursday.

The young turtle is believed to have travelled 4,000 miles off course from as far as Florida, US, after being caught in the Gulf Stream.

The turtle that washed up on Iona
The turtle is expected to have come from near Florida.                                                                            (C) Jane Kindlen

The turtle was rushed to Loch Lomond Sea Life Centre where it’s being treated for hypothermia, malnutrition and dehydration due to the cold water. 

They will attempt to raise the turtle’s temperature gradually by increasing its water temperature slowly to avoid thermal shock.

If successful then then the turtle will be released back into the wild in a more tropical climate, such as near the Canary Islands. 

However, chances of the tropical animal surviving are slim for the cold-blooded creature.

British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) shared an account of the rescue on social media on Friday, writing: “This tiny loggerhead turtle was reported in to us by a member of the public yesterday on the Isle of Iona in the South West of Scotland – incredibly far from the tropical waters that it would be used to!

“Tropical turtles usually wash up in the UK most years and are usually smaller, weaker animals that have possibly been pushed off course into the Gulf Stream and end up out of their normal habitat. 

“Massive thank you to all parties involved, everyone really came together to help this turtle and give it the best chance of survival, we couldn’t be more grateful.

“Flippers crossed for this little one!” 

The post has now collected over 2,000 likes with dozens of comments and hundreds of shares from users who were thankful for the rescue. 

Maggie Baldwin said: “Thank you to all of you for giving this turtle a chance. Fingers crossed that its fight to survive sustains.”

The turtle after being rescued
The turtle is currently being treated at Loch Lomond Sea Life Centre.                                                     (C) Chris Sharples

Cara Potts said: “Amazing, bless your heart, little one.

“Flippers crossed for sure. Thank you all for your prompt and swift action to give this one a chance.” 

Catriona Milne said: “Here’s hoping that the wee one has some fight left for the days and journeys ahead. Thanks everyone involved.”

Chris Eke said: “Thank you to everyone involved, let’s hope this beautiful turtle can eventually be returned to the wild.” 

Speaking today, Molly Gray, charity advisor for BDMLR, said: “This is quite a unique rescue. 

“I was pretty shocked, but I was dedicated to doing the best that I could for the animal. 

“They do turn up in UK waters but this is the first one I’ve got to deal with personally. 

“It’s usually quite small juvenile animals, they get caught in the Gulf Stream and pulled away. 

“As soon as the sea life centre is happy with the condition of the animal they will release it back into the world as close to its natural habitat as possible.”

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