Turtle suffered a lot because of storm, however, now she is ready to go back home
As a result of Storm Arwen, a turtle who was later named Tally washed ashore on a cold beach. Scientists found her more than 4,000 miles from its home in the Gulf of Mexico. And it is still a mystery how she arrived in Wales.
This type of turtle is extremely rare. It was even close to extinction back in the 1980s with fewer than 200 breeding females in the world. They weigh about 40kg and have a completely round shell measuring over 2ft. The population today is around 9,000 nesting females, which has significantly increased from the 1980s. However, they do still face threats to their population due to the overhunting of their eggs.
Ashley James initially spotted Tally on the beach and thought it was dead. Because of the peculiar nature of this find, he decided to alert local officials. The officials later helped him manage the situation.
Ashley realized that Tally was not dead. She was in cold shock after having raced to the beach as a result of the disruption. Unusually, the marine biologist in contact with Ashley at the time had instructed to keep Tally cold, as giving it a lot of heat at once could cause more damage, whereas gradually increasing the temperature of the turtle means it has a better chance of surviving.
Later specialists moved Tally to a unique and purpose-based incubator at Anglesey Sea Zoo, where it is currently ‘showing small signs of recovery’ and is in a ‘stable’ condition.
Treating cold shock is extremely difficult as the water levels are drastically different, with the average in the Gulf of Mexico around 30 degrees, to 8 degrees in Wales this time of year. The Zoo treats Tally and they are working on carefully getting it to full health. There are high hopes, with Tally now awake and alert, and there is a good possibility that Tally will recover fully and be able to transport back home 4000 miles away.