One of the world’s rarest turtles dubbed Kemp’s ridley sea turtle was discovered on Green Cliff beach in Devon by Ben Read, of Torrington while walking on the beach. Kemp’s ridley sea turtles are critically endangered and only 1,000 nesting females remain, it is said.
According to Read, a fried of his told him that the dead turtle is a Kemp’s ridley. Read took the turtle home and put it in his freezer while he waits for a marine biologist who will analyze the specimen.
“The marine biologist knew straight away, as soon as I described the markings, that it could be a Kemp’s ridley,” Read told The Telegraph. “He said that the turtles originate from Mexico, but are extremely rare and are now critically endangered.”
Initially, hunting was the major threat to the sea turtle, but now, loss of habitat, pollution and shrimping nets are the biggest issues for the tiny creature. Kemp’s ridley is not made for British waters, according to Peter Richardson, biodiversity program manager for the Marine Conservation Society (MCS).
“We ask people to keep their eyes peeled for stranded turtles during this stormy weather,” Richardson told The Telegraph. “Sometimes freshly stranded turtles can appear dead, but may still be alive and can be rescued. They should not be put back in the sea, as this will definitely kill them. Instead, they should be moved away from the water to a sheltered place, preferably in a cardboard box out of draughts, and reported to experts for collection.”