By Laura Todd
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Field Supervisor in Newport, Oregon, endangered species biologist; lover of turtles, snakes, frogs and all things slithery; and weekend shepherdess to a small flock of friendly Shetland sheep.
A sea turtle washed up on an Oregon beach late last month and many of you responded to our Facebook plea for help to find the turtle. Almost 10,000 of you shared our post and asked others to help find the hypothermic turtle that was returned to the ocean by good-intentioned passers-by. Thank you for helping search for this turtle.
The turtle has not been found, and we can only hope for the best.
This sea turtle, which washed ashore on an Oregon beach, was likely suffering from hypothermia. Photo provided by USFWS.
However, many excellent questions came up through our social media posts. Here are some of the questions and answers.
Question: Why did this happen if the turtle is a warm-water turtle? Did it take a wrong turn?
Answer: Many species of sea turtles occur throughout the Pacific Ocean, including the relatively cold waters of Oregon and Washington coasts. Some sea turtles even occur in Alaska! Our coastal waters are highly productive and provide excellent food resources. However, sea