Rare Turtle Rescued Off California Coast

A rare turtle saved off Stinson Beach recovers in San Diego

By R. Stickney
|  Friday, Dec 4, 2009  |  Updated 4:15 PM PDT
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Rare Turtle Rescued Off California Coast

A rare sea turtle, found washed ashore at Stinson Beach last week, is now recuperating at SeaWorld San Diego.

On Nov. 25, the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, Calif., rescued a female olive ridley turtle, rarely seen in northern California, covered with barnacles, ghost shrimp and even crabs.

Rescue staff nicknamed her Donatello and soon found the turtle, weighing just 54 pounds, was in very poor condition, suffering from dehydration, malnutrition, and low body temperature.

Veterinarians at the center immediately gave her fluids, antibiotics, and vitamins but arranged for care at SeaWorld San Diego, where she’s being tube fed twice a day.

If the turtle regains her strength, she could be released as early as Summer 2010, according to the staff at the Marine Mammal Center.

This is only the third report of an olive ridley turtle in Marin waters in the past decade. They're more commonly found in southern California, according to NOAA's Office of Protected Fisheries.

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