Two Endangered Sea Turtles Rehabilitating at Aquarium

Jan 7, 2016

The Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport is now treating two olive ridley sea turtles. Discovered on different beaches, they're both doing well.

Thunder undergoes exam after rescue from Gearhart beach.
Credit Oregon Coast Aquarium

On December 20th, a 63-pound male was discovered in Long Beach, Washington. He was cold-shocked with a head wound. The next day, an 82-pound female was discovered near Gearhart. She was hypothermic with a body temperature of 52 degrees, far below the ideal 75.

Both turtles were transported to the Aquarium, but the male didn't make it. The female, nicknamed "Thunder," has warmed up to 75 degrees and is making progress.

And then, there's Lightning – the female who arrived in rough shape about a month ago. Erin Miller, spokeswoman for the Aquarium, says Lightning is showing strong signs of recovery.

Miller: "She's now at a stable 75 degrees and she's eating regularly and she's showing quite a bit of energy, swimming around her pool. She appears to be napping occasionally down lower in the water, which shows that her buoyancy issue is likely dissipating."

The Oregon Coast Aquarium and Seattle Aquarium are the only rehabilitation facilities in the region authorized by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to provide the specialized care sea turtles require.

If you find a sea turtle, do not touch or move it. Call the Oregon State Police Wildlife hotline at 800-452-7888.