Rare turtle found in Wales after storm Arwen blew it away 5,200 miles

The ‘beautiful little creature’ is one of the world’s critically endangered species (Image: Anglesey Sea Zoo/SWNS)

One of the world’s rarest sea turtles was discovered washed up on a Welsh beach – a long way from home.

A dog walker who passed by it was amazed to discover the creature had removed it from its natural habitat in the Gulf of Mexico.

Despite being blown 5,200 miles away by Hurricane Arwen, Kemp’s Ridley the turtle is still alive.

The species is one of the world’s critically endangered and the ‘beautiful’ specimen is being restored to normal by marine experts.

Ash James, 34, and his wife Samantha, 35, were walking their dogs on Talacre beach in north Wales when they spotted the animal.

It was only when the Teddy bear at the border started ‘making a fuss’ that they realized they had encountered something very unusual.

They reported the find to the British Marine Rescue Service and experts found it to be in a state of cold water shock but still alive.

They are usually found in tropical seas with temperatures of 25-30 degrees Celsius, while at this time of year the local sea water temperature in Wales is 8 degrees cold.

Dog owners noticed the turtle when their border dog started to ‘noise’ (Image: Anglesey Sea Zoo/SWNS)
It was in a state of cold water shock but was still alive (Image: Anglesey Sea Zoo/SWNS)

Anglesey Sea Zoo said the baby Kemps Ridley tortoise remained healthy 48 hours after being critical.

It is currently undergoing intensive care and rehabilitation with round-the-clock hourly checks, which involve gradual rehydration and increased ambient temperature.

In 2008, the zoo took care of another rare turtle – an Olive Ridley turtle, nicknamed Menai – which was the first of its kind to be reported in UK waters since records began almost 200 years ago.

Experts have verified the latest find is a Kemp’s Ridley tortoise. There are only two known breeding sites of this species left globally, both in the western Gulf of Mexico.

Frankie Hobro, the zoo’s director and owner, said: ‘We are extremely pleased that this beautiful little creature has survived here in North Wales.

‘It is particularly poignant that this happened almost exactly five years after the appearance of Menai, who became very popular.

‘Luckily the turtle stranded on a beach was found quickly, otherwise it would have been dead.

Ash James, 34, and his wife Samantha, 35, spotted the reptile on Talacre beach (Image: Anglesey Sea Zoo/SWNS)
The turtle is ‘doing well’ after the ordeal (Image: Anglesey Sea Zoo/SWNS)

‘Tropical turtles that wash up on our shores can die when they are in fact in a physiologically ‘quiet’ or ‘quiet’ state due to extreme low temperatures.

‘If that’s the case, they can be revived and fully recovered under the right conditions.’

He said the next few days are critical but arrangements will be made to return it to the wild if it makes it through.

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Huynh Nguyen

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