Thursday July 18, 2019
SNc Channels:

Search
About Salem-News.com

 

Dec-28-2007 16:04printcomments

Unusual 'Loggerhead' Sea Turtle Washes Ashore Near Seaside

Though loggerheads have been spotted as far north as Alaska they only come ashore in this region when distressed.

Loggerhead turtle that washed ashore at Gearhart, Oregon 12-28-07
The adult male loggerhead was four feet in length with a three-foot shell, weighing approximately 100 pounds. Full size photos below, courtesy of: BeachConnection.net

(SEASIDE, Ore.) - Christmas Eve brought an unusual and ancient traveler to the north Oregon coast – one so old it’s related to the dinosaurs. A large sea turtle washed up just north of Seaside, on a beach in Gearhart.

The loggerhead sea turtle was reported still alive after drifting up with the tides in the early afternoon of December 24th. It died shortly after it was recovered by staff at the Seaside Aquarium, dying sometime on Christmas day.

This is the first sea turtle to come ashore in this area in the last five years. "I talked to the Seattle Aquarium about it and they said they hadn’t found one in 20 years," said aquarium manager Keith Chandler. "It’s that unusual."

That's not to say they're uncommon in this area. They normally swim far enough out to sea they rarely show up on land in the northwest.

The adult male loggerhead was four feet in length with a three-foot shell, weighing approximately 100 pounds. Though the age of this turtle is unknown, their life expectancy can exceed 50 years.

Though loggerheads have been spotted as far north as Alaska they only come ashore in this region when distressed.

The aquarium’s Tiffany Boothe said the turtle wound up on shore after a particularly high surf event, but not necessarily because of that. "We get a lot of big waves before a storm," she said. "He probably followed a warm water current that dissipated, and then got hypothermia. He then found his way up here."

If the turtle had survived, it would have been taken by some official agency, such as the Seattle Aquarium. "They’ve had a lot more experience with rehabilitating hypothermic turtles. We were just waiting for them to pick it up, actually."

Boothe said the turtle could not be put in water immediately, because that would bring its body temperature up too quickly.

Since its death, the loggerhead has been stored in a freezer, awaiting word from any official agency that would be interested in it. Many such agencies use these corpses for educational purposes, especially in a case such as this, with a rare and endangered species. But because of the holidays, no one has been present to yet express an interest.

Loggerheads inhabit all oceans, primarily temperate water. They are named after their relatively large heads, which support powerful jaws and enable them to feed on hard-shelled prey, such as crabs and mollusks. Loggerheads are the most abundant species of sea turtle found in U.S. coastal waters. Like all sea turtles the loggerhead are protected in the U.S. and most countries worldwide.




Comments Leave a comment on this story.
Name:

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.


[Return to Top]
©2019 Salem-News.com. All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Salem-News.com.


Articles for December 27, 2007 | Articles for December 28, 2007 | Articles for December 29, 2007



Tribute to Palestine and to the incredible courage, determination and struggle of the Palestinian People. ~Dom Martin

Special Section: Truth telling news about marijuana related issues and events.

Your customers are looking: Advertise on Salem-News.com!

The NAACP of the Willamette Valley