NEWPORT, Ore. – A female turtle that washed onto a beach in Lincoln City with a myriad of medical issues was being treated by the Oregon Coast Aquarium, with the hopes of returning to the wild.
The olive ridley turtle, which has been named “Furlough,” washed ashore Monday. Aquarium staff said the turtle arrived hypothermic, dehydrated, anemic and battered by the surf. She also had a scarred and chipped shell.
Furlough’s core body temperature was more than 10 degrees below normal. The Aquarium, which is licensed to rehabilitate sea turtles, was slowly warming the air around Furlough to raise her temperature.
The warming process will take several days so that the turtle doesn’t experience shock, staff said. She was covered with lubricant and towels to lock in moisture and prevent heat loss.
“We are treating her with a turtle’s version of bed rest,” said Evonne Mochon-Collura of the Oregon Coast Aquarium. “She’s here to hang out, relax and pack on calories.”
Aquarium staff said that Furlough’s prognosis is poor, but they will better be able to assess her condition after she is warm enough to be placed in water.
Anyone who finds a turtle washed ashore in Oregon was urged to contact the Oregon Wildlife Hotline at 1-800-452-7888.