PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A stranded sea turtle rescued along the Oregon Coast is now on the road to recovery.
A man found the olive ridley sea turtle while walking on the beach about a mile north of the Peter Iredale shipwreck in Warrenton, the Seaside Aquarium said Wednesday. The turtle was stunned by the cold and half-buried in the sand — but still alive.
The man contacted Seaside Aquarium for help but staff knew the incoming tide and heavy surf meant the turtle needed to be moved as quickly as possible or risk being swept back out to sea. Officials said sea turtles should normally only be moved by experts.
A couple who happened to be walking along the beach jumped in to help and together, the group carried the turtle more than a mile up the beach where they were met by aquarium staff.
The turtle was rushed to Seaside Aquarium for evaluation. The aquarium said it was one of the most active sea turtles staff had seen in a long time — a good sign.
Seaside Aquarium staff were able to quickly transport the turtle to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, which is one of two licensed sea turtle rehab facilities in the Pacific Northwest. A second olive ridley sea turtle was reportedly on its way to the aquarium at the same time.
“While we are all hopeful for the recovery and release, everyone involved knows that this turtle has a long road ahead,” Seaside Aquarium said.
Sea turtles are not found on Oregon or Washington beaches unless stranded. Anyone who spots a sea turtle should note its location and contact the Oregon State Police Tipline at 1.800.452.7888 or the Marine Mammal Stranding Network at 1.866.767.6114.