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Rare turtle alert for Devon beach walkers

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: January 31, 2014

The turtle that was washed up on a Devon beach

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Devon beach walkers are being urged to watch out for stranded or dead rare turtles.

It follows a warm water Kemp’s ridley turtle has washed up on a Devon beach.

The small dead turtle was reported to the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) on Tuesday .

Just 30cm in length, the creature is not the first Kemp’s rdley to be washed up along the UK coastline this winter, according to Dr Peter Richardson, MCS Biodiversity Programme Manager who said: “ Two weeks ago, another Kemp’s ridley was discovered on a beach in Carmarthenshire by a woman out walking her dogs. In December, a Kemp’s ridley washed up alive in South West Wales but died shortly after. In addition, a young loggerhead turtle washed up dead at Worthing, and this month we have also received reports of leatherback turtle remains on Chesil beach near Weymouth, and on Tregantle beach in south east Cornwall.”

Following the latest find, at Wooolacombe, Dr Richardson said: “We ask people to keep their eyes peeled for stranded turtles during this stormy weather. 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. Even if they are obviously dead they should be reported as they can be used for post-mortem research.”

If you find a stranded or dead turtle on the beach then you should report them to the Cetacean Stranding Investigation Programme on 0800 6520333. You can also find out more information by downloading the UK Turtle Code which you can find at www.mcsuk.org.

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