Turtle succumbs to journey

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The rare Olive Ridley sea turtle.
Camera IconThe rare Olive Ridley sea turtle. Credit: Raeline Smith

A rare and endangered West Australian sea turtle was found stranded at Cheynes Beach last weekend.

Albany photographer, Raeline Smith found the distressed and injured Olive Ridley sea turtle during her beach walk last Sunday.

The Olive Ridley turtle is a highly threatened species and its population is extremely scarce around WA.

Olive ridley turtle found stranded at Cheynes Beach
Camera IconOlive ridley turtle found stranded at Cheynes Beach Credit: Raeline Smith

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A local ranger advised Ms Smith to take the turtle home for the night before transportation to a special rehabilitation clinic in Perth, but due to injuries and stress the turtle died overnight.

“The turtle had damaged flippers and was being harassed by people and it may have been old too,” she said.

“So unfortunately it passed away by the morning before the rangers could take it to Perth.”

A Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions spokeswoman said the Olive Ridley turtle’s appearance in Albany is unknown but the turtle has travelled a long way from its usual nesting spot in the Kimberley.

“The Olive Ridley turtle is a threatened species classed as endangered in Western Australia and their international status is also endangered,” she said.

“I urge everyone to contact the wildlife number for any future sea turtle sightings in the area.”

DBCA also conducts turtle tagging in association with local Aboriginal traditional owners and numerous volunteers at important nesting beaches throughout WA.

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