Thanksgiving ‘Turkey’ the turtle dies after infection

Turkey, the olive ridley sea turtle found on Benson Beach, Washington, in rehabilitation at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Turkey died Dec. 8.

Turkey, the olive ridley sea turtle found stranded on Washington’s Benson Beach, died Jan. 8. According to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, which treated the dehydrated and hypothermic turtle since her arrival on Thanksgiving Day.

The Seaside Aquarium recovered the 50-pound olive ridley sea turtle that came ashore Thanksgiving week and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service transferred her to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport for rehabilitation.

Over the last month and a half, staff worked to monitor her condition, administer fluids and slowly raise her internal temperature. Although Turkey would sometimes consume a small shrimp, her eating was described as “inconsistent.”

Turkey seemed to deteriorate early last week when she stopped accepting food altogether and appeared especially lethargic, according to the Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Sally Compton. X-rays of the turtle’s lungs indicated that a mass in her lungs, which suggested she was fighting off an infection such as pneumonia.

Sea turtles are not found on local beaches unless stranded. To report a sea turtle on the beach, note its location, remain nearby to observe it and contact the Oregon State Police Tipline at 800-452-7888 or the Marine Mammal Stranding Network in Oregon, Washington and California at 866-767-6114.

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