Sea Turtle, Inc. staff has a lot to be thankful for today. We are especially grateful for our newest patient! This morning, in a very rare event, a leatherback sea turtle stranded on South Padre Island! The turtle’s shell is 4.6 feet long and we estimate she weighs between 450-500 lbs!!! An initial physical examination shows that she has a large wound on her skull, possibly a boat strike. She is currently in critical condition. For her safety and recovery she is NOT able to be viewed by the public.
While we rarely see leatherbacks on South Padre Island, they do live in the Gulf of Mexico. They are a pelagic sea turtle, meaning they prefer deep water habitat. Leatherbacks are found in every ocean in the world, except the Arctic Ocean. They have long migration paths, sometimes swimming over 1000 miles per year, following their favorite food: the jellyfish.
We would like to thank everyone who assisted in her rescue this morning, including the 10 people who lifted her in and out of our stranding truck. We will continue to update our followers about her progress this week. Please send positive vibes to the turtle for her successful recovery!
Please remember that in the hopes of a quick recovery for our new patient, she is being kept in a dark, quiet section of our ICU and is only accessible to our Sea Turtle, Inc. rehab staff. There will be no public viewing of this patient at this time.