One of Two Rescued Turtles, Thunder, Has Died

Apr 14, 2016

One of the two olive ridley sea turtles rescued on Oregon beaches last winter has died.

Credit Oregon Coast Aquarium

On Tuesday, Sea World employees discovered Thunder's body in her rehabilitation pool. The cause of death has not yet been released. Two weeks ago, she and the other turtle, Lightning, were flown from the Oregon Coast Aquarium to the San Diego facility to continue their rehabilitation. Lightning remains in stable condition.

Jim Burke is Director of Animal Husbandry at the aquarium in Newport.

BURKE: "It's quite possible and quite likely that they were sick before they got lost. A lot of these currents disappear kinda quickly. You know, it's hard to say which came first but it's surely possible that they were quite sick before being lost but not definitive."

Native to warmer water, both Thunder and Lightning were hypothermic and starving when they were found in December. They received critical care in Newport before their transfer to SeaWorld. Lightning will continue her rehabilitation before her planned release back into the wild later this summer.