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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Stranded Turtle-Saturday Morning

Sea Turtle nesting has slowed down and practically stopped.  Eggs laid much later than this will be emerging in the cooler fall weather, hatchlings will have a smaller chance for survival.  This morning was the last morning for the NMB Sea Turtle Patrol Volunteers to walk the 11 miles of beach.  We were hoping for one final nest or even one final crawl.  But instead, Volunteers Jim, Sherry and Donna came across this poor turtle floating in the surf around 58th Ave N, Cherry Grove Section of NMB.

Beautiful turtle, no apparent injuries on it's carapace. Very few barnacles, but those found were very large. It did look very thin, especially around the head and skull area.

The turtle measured 78 cm or a little over 31 inches from notch to notch on it's carapace.  An adult loggerhead is usually at least 80 cm.

Turning the turtle over, it was quickly discovered the plastron was not in good shape.

The turtle had a large gash, cause of death or did this happen afterwards?

Good example of the claw found on the front flipper.

North Myrtle Beach Animal Control Officer, Jerry processed the dead turtle.

NMB Sea Turtle Patrol Volunteers Rob, Sherry and Donna watch.  Interested beach walkers gather and watch as well.

Turtle is painted orange to signify it has already been reported.  Carcass is disposed of off the beach.

Thank you Jim, Sherry and Donna for reporting this so early this morning.  Would have rather it was a crawl!  Such a shame the turtle made it to this age but didn't quite reach maturity.

Thank you Jim for your pictures.

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