Leatherback turtle stranded in Huelva

Beach late evening our friend “Lute”

Summer ends, and as an omen of bad winds that brought the fall, one prompted an unusual visitor to our shores, a leatherback turtle over a meter wingspan, two hundred kilos of weight and whose species is critically endangered.

Our friend had decided to end their sea voyages staying forever in our estuary.

Viajera unrepentant, He had been displaced by the oceans thousands of kilometers in their lifes, feeding on those pesky jellyfish that are a fundamental part of their diet. They can eat daily the equivalent of its own weight, thus playing an important role in maintaining the marine ecological balance.

The leatherback turtle stranding in Caño the Culata (El Portil)

And our visitors chose to stay in our beach having a nice day taking pictures with the swimmers who were attending to greet.

The day quickly transcurred, and it was time to notify the Civil Guard to ask them to endeavor a more dignified final resting place for. We were referred to the Services City of Cartaya, since apparently the Seprona (according to our informant friendly) only it deals with rescue animals alive. When in doubt, We call the 112 and explain the case, and there we were promised that a team from the council would deal with the issue.

Since the tide came in and began to get dark, we say goodbye to our friend wishing you a happy journey to best seas, hoping that some of the calls made would bear fruit, and so apparently it occurred, as to where agents Nature Protection Service moved (Seprona) Civil Guard, Competent authorities should subject the animal to an autopsy to find out what caused his death.

Turtle late in the day

We do not know if they fulfilled the protocol stranding of endangered marine species in the case of our friend, what concerns us most in any case is that in the past two months they have occurred three large turtle strandings on the Andalusian coast, although it is leatherbacks or Dermochelys coriacea, the largest of all sea turtles and listed in critical danger of extinction, normally they ply copies elsewhere and represent only 6% of turtle strandings recorded.

First it was on the beach in La Redondela, in Huelva, Last Tuesday 11 of August, where a turtle and large similar to those of our friend was left stranded on the sand.

Turtle appeared in Redondela (Huelva)

Turtle appeared in Redondela (Huelva)

And just a week later, another copy of leatherback turtle is sighted floating in Cádiz.

Turtle Beach in Victoria (Cadiz)

Turtle Beach in Victoria (Cadiz)


In March 2015 We had another stranding on the beach Enebrales of Punta ubria.

Tortuga appeared in Los Enebrales (Punta Umbria)

Tortuga appeared in Los Enebrales (Punta Umbria)

They are the first cases that have news in our Costa de la Luz. In August 2014 He was found dead by some environmentalists other leatherback almost two meters long on the left bank of the Guadiana river, in the vicinity of the district of Isla Canela (Ayamonte) .

Turtle found in Isla Canela (Ayamonte)

Turtle found in Isla Canela (Ayamonte)

Suffice this little reminder to call attention to what seems an unusual increase in the frequency of strandings of this species of turtle species in critical condition in our coast, It is also far from their usual routes of travel.

It does not seem that special conditions exist in our waters that increase the dangers to this species, as are pollution of the oceans with oil or engine oils, vessel strikes, capture in commercial fishing nets or death from ingesting plastic bags mistaking them for jellyfish swallow, their main food.

But it is undeniable that the frequency of deaths occur has increased the last two years very alarming, and we can only ask the responsible authorities to do their job and find possible causes and those responsible, so you do not have to return to say goodbye in this way to one of our friendly turtles.

And we do not want to leave you with a bad taste, I leave a picture of her in their heyday and his family, there in a paradisiacal beach of the few left in the Eastern Pacific…




    • canalnova June 30, 2018 12:33 pm 

      Thank You, a greeting.

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