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Giant Turtle Washes up on British Beach

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The 1.7m-long 250kg leatherback washed up on a beach in Essex, UK (Photo: South Woodham Coastguard/Facebook)

The body of a leatherback turtle was found last week washed up on a beach in Essex, England, according to a BBC report

The 1.7m-long turtle was spotted by walkers near Mundon Creek, just off the River Blackwater near Maylandsea, and reported to the South Woodham Coastguard Rescue Team which recovered the body of the giant turtle after liaising with the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP).

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Members of the coastguard team recovered the body for further study (Photo: South Woodham Coastguard/Facebook)

Leatherback turtles are the largest living turtles, reaching over 2m in length and up to 700kg in weight. They have the widest range of all turtles and are distributed globally, from the tropics to Alaska and the southern coast of Australia. They are often spotted around the southwestern coast of the UK, however, according to a South Woodham Coastguard officer 'we have no record of such a sighting on the East Coast before'.

According to a post on the South Woodham Coastguard's Facebook page, the recovery team 'consisted of Coastguards, members of the CSIP, and the adjacent farm owners, who worked together to carefully lift the quarter tonne turtle over the sea wall for transport to the Natural History Museum for examination and possible preservation.'

An updated post states that the autopsy will be carried out by a team from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

 

 

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