Solstice, the olive ridley turtle that was found on a Washington beach last month, is recuperating at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. She has now reached her ideal 75 degree body temperature.
When Solstice was found, she was dehydrated, hypothermic and emaciated. Although she is now eating and swimming around, she now has an air pocket under her shell. Erin Paxton with the Oregon Coast Aquarium says Solstice has a long recovery ahead.
Paxton: “So if Solstice were to return to the wild as she is now, and she was buoyant, it would be very difficult for her to flee from predators because she would be confined to the water’s surface. Her shell would dry out, we actually have a special lubricant on her exposed shell right now to keep it from drying out in the air, and she wouldn’t be able to dive under the water’s surface to hunt for food.”
Two other sea turtles washed up on Oregon’s coast in December but were deceased when found. If Solstice continues to progress, she could be released in August.