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Beachcombers Warned To Look Out For Turtles

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

If you're wandering the beaches this winter, there's something else to watch for besides incoming tides: sea turtles.

Winter storms can push these creatures into colder waters, tiring them out, making them sick, and leaving them stranded on the shoreline.

Laura Todd is with the Newport Field Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  She says if someone comes across a washed-up sea turtle...

Credit Oregon Coast Aquarium.
Oregon Coast Aquarium.
An Oregon Coast Aquarium staffer positions Solstice the Turtle so she can receive fluids.

"They shouldn't touch it, they shouldn't move it," advised Todd.  

"If you move them and warm them too quickly, it can actually cause more damage than help.  So really the thing to do is get them to a facility that knows how to handle turtles as quickly as possible.

"Here on the Oregon Coast, that's the Oregon Coast Aquarium.  And they're the ones that are our authorized agency for dealing with the turtles, and they really are pretty good at being able to do that properly."

Credit SeaWorld San Diego
Koa the Turtle is released with a GPS transmitter to track his movements, October 2012.

Pacific Green and Olive Ridley Sea Turtles are the most common species found stranded in Oregon.  Both are endangered.

The Oregon State Police tip line for stranded turtles is 800-452-7888.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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