By TAMARA COHEN
Rare: One of the young Kemp's Ridleys which was found washed up on British beaches - because massive currents were caused by storms in Scotland earlier this month
Three of the rarest turtles in the world have washed up on British beaches.
They were dragged thousands of miles from their normal habitats in warmer waters by stormy weather.
The two young Kemp’s ridleys and one green turtle died because of the cold after being blasted off course by massive currents during storms in Scotland earlier this month.
The Marine Conservation Society has warned more are likely to be discovered over Christmas and the New Year and urged the public not to put them back into the water.
While the first three have died, any others may just appear dead because the effect of the cold water initially puts them into a type of coma and they could be nursed back to health by experts.
The first young turtle discovered after the heavy storms two weeks ago – which saw power cuts and a wind turbine set on fire – was a young Kemp’s ridley, one of the smallest species of marine turtles.
Storm victim: The green turtle found dead in Orkney
Then a green turtle – believed to have been blown off course from warmer waters near the Azores – was found dead on a beach in the Orkney Islands. It is believed to have been washed up alive, but died later.
Green turtles are also endangered and live mostly in the tropics, although nesting populations are found in Florida and in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Both kinds of turtle normally live in water warmer than 20c.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
By TAMARA COHEN