This tropical loggerhead turtle washed up on the shores of the Isle of Iona at the end of January earlier this year, and we’ve just received an update on how she’s doing from our friends at Sealife Scarborough where she is currently rehabilitating (after being transferred from Sealife Loch Lomond a few weeks back).
Now aptly named ‘Iona’, this little lady is doing very well. She has incredibly doubled in weight since arriving at the centre and is well on the road to recovery! Fabulous news!
It’s not yet clear when she’ll be released to the wild, as there is a lot involved in finding a suitable release location, but we are hoping she’ll make her way back to the tropics soon.
Tropical turtles usually wash up in the UK most years and are usually smaller, weaker animals that have possibly been pushed off course into the Gulf Stream and end up out of their normal habitat. As turtles are cold-blooded, they get severely hypothermic, malnourished and dehydrated as their body shuts down due to the cold water. Many wash up dead, but the ones found alive and reported to us go for rehab in aquaria that are familiar with their care. If they survive (that’s a big ‘if’, as often they are already too far gone) then they are returned to the wild in places such as the Canary Islands.
It’s looking like Iona will be one of the lucky ones… keep those flippers crossed for her!
Photo credits: Sealife Scarborough