‘Turkey’ the sea turtle dies after being found on SW Washington - KPTV - FOX 12

‘Turkey’ the sea turtle dies after being found on SW Washington coast over Thanksgiving

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Turkey, an endangered olive ridley sea turtle was cared for at the Oregon Coast Aquarium after being found on the southwest Washington coast. (Photo: Oregon Coast Aquarium) Turkey, an endangered olive ridley sea turtle was cared for at the Oregon Coast Aquarium after being found on the southwest Washington coast. (Photo: Oregon Coast Aquarium)
NEWPORT, OR (KPTV) -

An endangered sea turtle rescued on the southwest Washington coast has died.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium reported Friday that the turtle affectionately dubbed “Turkey” was not able to recover after being found hypothermic and dehydrated over the Thanksgiving weekend.

A Beaverton couple found the female olive ridley sea turtle on Benson Beach in southwest Washington on Nov. 22.

The turtle ended up in the care of the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport early Thanksgiving morning.

Veterinarians determined the turtle had not eaten in at least a month, but, after a week, reports were that Turkey’s condition was cautiously improving.

Staff worked all hours to monitor Turkey’s condition, administer fluids and antibiotics and slowly raise the turtle’s internal temperature.

While the turtle would sometimes consume a small shrimp, Turkey’s eating was inconsistent and she stopped accepting food altogether early last week.

X-rays indicated that a mass had recently developed on the turtle’s lungs, suggesting that she was fighting off an infection such as pneumonia.

The turtle died Monday.

A necropsy performed by Oregon State University confirmed that Turkey had a systemic bacterial infection as a result of a heavily suppressed immune system. Multiple organizations, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service and NOAA will utilize the necropsy results for future research on sea turtles.

Sea turtles are not found on Oregon or Washington beaches unless they are stranded. Anyone who finds a sea turtle on the beach is asked to note its location, remain nearby to observe it and contact the Oregon State Police tip line at 1-800-452-7888 or the Marine Mammal Stranding Network in Oregon, Washington, and California at 1-866-767-6114.

Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. 

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