Olive ridley turtle found injured off Seaford beach

Turtle on Seaford Beach Image copyright Nettie Glandfield
Image caption The olive ridley turtle is normally found off the warmer shores of Mexico

A rare turtle has been rescued off the south coast by two women who were out swimming.

The injured olive ridley turtle, usually found in Mexico or the Canaries, was spotted 20m off Seaford beach in East Sussex.

Emma Holter and Lisa Glandfield brought the reptile to shore and saw it had injuries to its face and shell.

They called the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, which took the turtle to Brighton Sea Life centre for treatment.

This endangered species of turtle was also found in British waters in 2016, off the north coast of Wales.

Image caption Emma Holter (left) and Lisa Glandfield pulled the turtle to shore

Corinne Gordon, a marine medic, said: “She does have some damage but her injuries are not life threatening.

“However, it is a big concern that she only had a temperature of 10.8C when picked up. She is in cold shock.

“We are really hoping she survives.”

Image copyright Nettie Glandfield
Image caption The turtle weights 2.5kg and is less than half a metre in length – olive ridleys usually grow to about 1m

Once the juvenile turtle is at a more natural temperature for her breed, it is hoped she will be able to feed, Ms Gordon added.

Nettie Glandfield was with her mother Lisa when the reptile was brought to shore.

“We thought she may be dead, but every now and then she would make a small movement,” she said.

“The beach was windy, so we wrapped her in a wet towel to keep her a bit warmer, and sheltered, until the vet arrived.

“She wasn’t very big, about the size of a Jack Russell, and she’s so far from home.”

Image copyright Nettie Glandfield
Image caption The name of the olive ridley derives from the generally greenish colour of its skin and shell

Dr Sky Yates, a vet who helped with the rescue and confirmed the markings and colour were consistent with the olive ridley breed, said: “It was so bizarre seeing this turtle on Seaford beach.

“She’s got a long way to go with recovery, but the ladies who pulled her from the water did a great job.”



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