Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Two Stranded Turtles on Oregon Coast - One With 'Miracle' Surprise

Published 02/25/21 at 6:26 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Two Stranded Turtles on Oregon Coast - One With Surprises

(Newport, Oregon) – As if the ocean is again providing proof this is stranded turtle season, two loggerhead turtles were found on the Oregon coast within two weeks. Both had different endings, in spite of a strangely “miraculous” turn with one find. (Photo above courtesy Seaside Aquarium: Wednesday's loggerhead turtle in Rockaway Beach)

The first loggerhead turtle stranded on the central Oregon coast last week in the Lincoln City area. As with most turtle strandings in the Pacific Northwest, it was a case of the animal getting caught up in colder waters, then losing the ability to eat or move. Cold-stunned turtles are at the mercy of the waves until they wash ashore.

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; major specials now that winter is here
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
major specials for winter
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Winter's enticing specials now
In Lincoln City:
Major winter specials now
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
major specials this season
In Newport:
Look for many specials
In Waldport
New amenities offered; specials and tempting prices now
In Yachats, Florence
Big deals available; lodgings not listed anywhere else
Southern Oregon Coast Hotels / Lodgings
Reedsport to Brookings, places to stay; winter deals

This happens because they are following warm water currents northward and then the currents stop somewhere on this coastline.

Oregon Coast Aquarium was called about the turtle in the Nelscott section of town, and the aquarium’s Curator of Fish and Invertebrates Evonne Mochon-Collura responded. She called Jim Rice of the Marine Mammal Stranding Network, who stationed a volunteer to manage the area until he picked the animal up and brought it to the Aquarium for triage.

OCA said during standard triage protocols, it was determined that the turtle was a sub-adult female. Her temperature registered as 50°F. A healthy temperature for a turtle is around 75°F.


Loggerhead turtle at Oregon Coast Aquarium / courtesy photo

The turtle’s temperature was gradually raised about five degrees per day to avoid a shock to its system. Blood samples and x-rays were taken to assess the turtle’s internal status. As the turtle’s temperature increased, she displayed signs of stability, including increased mobility and appetite.

The next step in care involved transportation to a non-profit organization called Turtles Fly Too and its connections. The network’s mission is to coordinate and facilitate the use of general aviation to transport endangered species, critical response teams, and to educate the community on marine life conservation. First, however, the loggerhead needed to go through San Diego’s Sea World.

Before transport, the loggerhead was given a final exam, covered in lubricant to prevent dehydration, and strapped into a custom stretcher and crate designed to keep her warm and secure.

As the plane took flight, the team waved goodbye.

“I just received a video from SeaWorld San Diego,” said Mochon-Collura. “The loggerhead is swimming in their large outdoor pool - a successful triage and transport.”

While that turtle has had a happy ending, the latest turtle found in Rockaway Beach did not, even after what crews called a “miracle” of sorts.

Seaside Aquarium responded to the call early on Wednesday morning. The aquarium’s Tiffany Boothe said upon arrival they discovered that it was an immature loggerhead sea turtle.

“The turtle was unresponsive and was presumed dead,” Boothe said.

However, things took a strange turn: the sun came out and revived it.

“It can be difficult to determine if a cold-stunned sea turtle is still alive,” Boothe said. “Their heart rate may drop to one beat per minute, so we look for small movements in the turtle’s eyes or head. This turtle showed none of the typical signs indicating that it was still alive. Staff from the Seaside Aquarium recovered the sea turtle so that it could be necropsied, and cause of death determined. Miraculously, the sun came out and slowly warmed up the cold-stunned sea turtle, which then began to show signs of life by twitching its eyes and slowly moving its head up and down.”

Seaside Aquarium staff quickly prepared the turtle for travel, and Boothe spent the remainder of the day driving it down to Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, where it would hopefully see the same kind of recovery the previous loggerhead experienced.

However, earlier Thursday Boothe announced the turtle had died down in Newport.

“We are sad to report that, despite everyone’s best efforts, the little loggerhead did not make it,” she said. MORE PHOTOS BELOW

Oregon Coast Hotels in this area - South Coast Hotels - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours


MORE PHOTOS BELOW






Photo courtesy Oregon Coast Aquarium


Photo Seaside Aquarium

More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

 



Coastal Spotlight


LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

South Pacific Event Causes Tsunami Advisory on Washington / Oregon Coast
Updated Jan. 15, 6 a.m. Times for arrival of first waves; so far not predicted to be large. Check here for updates. Weather
Rules for Drones in Oregon Coast State Parks Examined on Jan. 24
Possible new rules regarding drone take-off and landing within a state park. Sciences
Cape Perpetua's Striking Science: Volcanoes to Bears on Oregon Coast
So much more to this central coast landmark than people realize. Yachats, geology, Newport, Florence
Tidepool Experiments Yield Finds About Climate Change on Oregon Coast
OSU found ecosystems like tidepools are losing their resiliency. Weather sciences
Three Surprises of Oregon Coast History at Oceanside
Roosevelt and the refuge, a fallen arch, a goofy structure
Lincoln City's Exploriences Back with Varied Oregon Coast Adventures
Reignites its outdoor program Exploriences with crabbing, clamming, hiking, tidepools, agates, fossils. Lincoln City events
Curious Bits About Sand Dollars on Oregon / Washington Coast You Didn't Know
People know little about them: some surprising facts about the little critters. Marine sciences
Razor Clam Lovers Will Love This Week on Washington
Coast Clam digs for January 14 through 20 will go on as planned. Washington coast events

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted