A juvenile green sea turtle found stranded Sunday morning near Fort Stevens State Park has died.
The 20- to 30-pound turtle was discovered by a ranger at the mouth of the Columbia River near the South Jetty.
Green sea turtles typically inhabit tropical waters, so finding a young Pacific green turtle is “very rare,” according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Field Advisor Laura Todd. The species is listed as threatened under 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 recently on the coast.
The Oregon Coast Aquarium is in the midst of rehabbing an olive ridley sea turtle found in Ilwaco, Washington, in late November. 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 state beaches unless stranded, Sally Compton, the public relations coordinator with the aquarium, said. Cold water temperatures, changing current and harsh storms wash the hypothermic turtles ashore.