NEWPORT — A juvenile green sea turtle that arrived at the Oregon Coast Aquarium for care died Monday night.
The 20- to 30-pound turtle was discovered Sunday morning by a beach ranger from Fort Stevens State Park on the Columbia River Beach. The ranger found the hypothermic turtle stranded at the mouth of the Columbia River near the South Jetty.
Green sea turtles typically inhabit tropical waters and while olive ridley turtles have been more prevalent, a young Pacific green turtle is “very rare, “ according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Field Advisor Laura Todd. The species is threatened by the endangered species act.
When the green sea turtle arrived for treatment, aquarium staff administered fluids, obtained blood samples and conducted a physical assessment.
This is the third turtle found on the Coast.
The Oregon Coast Aquarium is in the midst of rehabbing an olive ridley sea turtle found in Ilwaco on Nov. 23.
Turkey, the female olive ridley found on Washington’s Benson Beach that arrived at the Oregon State Aquarium on Thanksgiving, is still undergoing treatment.
Sea turtles are not found on Oregon or Washington beaches unless stranded, Sally Compton of the aquarium said. Cold water temperatures, changing current and harsh storms wash the hypothermic turtles ashore.