Beached sea turtle dies at Dutch zoo

Animal News : Beached sea turtle dies at Dutch zoo

The beached sea turtle that washed up in Zoutelande in the Netherlands has died. Blijdorp Zoo in Rotterdam tried to save the weak sea turtle.

The turtle was found on December 16th on the beach and was named Bløf, after a Dutch band. He was the second of a total of six rare sea turtles that were recently found on the Dutch coast. All six turtles were in poor health.

Sea turtles usually swim in much warmer waters. Bløf was a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle from the Gulf of Mexico. He probably got caught in a wrong ocean current and ended up in the English Channel between England and France. The sea turtle then beached in the Netherlands while suffering from hypothermia.

The other five washed-up sea turtles also originate from the Gulf of Mexico or the ocean around the Azores. They were all transferred to Blijdorp Zoo.

At the zoo, hypothermic animals are placed in a special basin, with the water temperature gradually increasing by four degrees per day. Once they are at the right temperature, they can potentially be released back into their original habitat.

Turtles covered in mussels

Two of the six turtles were in such poor condition that live mussels had attached themselves to their shells. Normally, the turtles can shake these off, but these two turtles were no longer capable of doing so. One of the animals had 1.6 kilograms of mussels attached to his shell.

The deceased sea turtle Bløf has been transferred to Utrecht University, where the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine will investigate the cause of death.

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