Injured sea turtle showing signs of improvement at Oregon Coast - KPTV - FOX 12

Injured sea turtle showing signs of improvement at Oregon Coast Aquarium

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Photo: Oregon Coast Aquarium Photo: Oregon Coast Aquarium
NEWPORT, OR (KPTV) -

A endangered sea turtle that's undergoing rehabilitation after being found stranded on an Oregon beach is showing some signs of improvement, the Oregon Coast Aquarium said Thursday.

The olive ridley turtle also has a name: Lightning, after the stormy weather that coincided with her stranding.

A beachgoer found Lightning at Bob Straub State Park in Pacific City Dec. 10.

Staff at the Oregon Coast Aquarium said the turtle's body temperature was 18 degrees below normal when she arrived at the aquarium, and she had swelling and blood around her eyes.

Since then, staff have been able to raise her temperature 11 degrees. Lightning also has opened one of her eyes, but staff said it appears to be badly damaged.

Aquarium staff say once Lightning can eat, pass waste, and her body temperature reaches 75 degrees, they can move her to a longer-term rehabilitation facility. She'll likely require months of rehab before she can be transferred south and eventually released into her native waters.

Olive ridley turtles are generally found in tropical regions, and aquarium staff believe Lightning originated somewhere along the Pacific coast of Mexico.

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