Leatherback sea turtles are an endangered species
(Mirror Daily, United States) – Unfortunately, sad news has emerged, as an 800 pound sea turtle dies after getting caught in fishing line.
The news reports that the 800 pounds sea turtle, was discovered dead off the coast of Cape Cod and it most likely drowned after it got caught in the fishing gear. The statement was made on Sunday, by the New England Aquarium.
It was a six-and-a-half-foot long female, belonging to an endangered species. After being discovered, she was towed to a boat ramp, close to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The necropsy that was performed on her on Sunday revealed she had been dead for a few days.
This was the second incident with a turtle of its kind that happened over the week-end in the same region. Another leather back turtle was found entangled in fishing line in Truro, off of Pamet Harbor. Fortunately, this one was luckier as she got detangled faster, only had minor injuries and managed to swim away quickly and healthy after the incident.
Unfortunately, the other one didn’t benefit from this opportunity. It had deep cuts and abrasions around its neck and on its left front flipper. Also, the biologists found two feet of marine rope tangled in the reptile’s mouth. This means that she got tangled, couldn’t swim and couldn’t breathe so she eventually drowned. The turtle, being a reptile, needs to come to the surface for air.
The loss is great, not just because this magnificent animal in itself has died, but because she belongs to an endangered species and she was a female, who could have helped her species survive. Scientists say that they are an endangered species because, out of thousands of hatchlings that make it into the water, only one survives. Humans are the biggest threat.
The leatherback turtle is prone to accidents such as this one because, unlike the other turtles, it is the only one who doesn’t have a hard shell. Biologists say that they are covered in something that resembles more like cow hide, but even softer and more leather-like.
Therefore, it’s very easy for specimens from this species to get hurt by, for example, boat propellers.
The leatherback sea turtle is the largest turtle living and the fourth largest reptile living today, after three species of crocodiles. They live primarily in the open ocean and feed mostly on jellyfish.
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