Holly a surprise find on Scottish beach

The Scottish SEA LIFE Sanctuary at Oban is looking after a tiny eight inch loggerhead sea turtle found washed up on Ardmucknish Beach, Benderloch.

As she turned up just before Christmas, the new arrival was quickly christened ´Holly´ by Sanctuary staff.

"She was found only a couple of miles from the Sanctuary and seemed at first glance to be in almost perfect condition," said manager Richard Cooper.

A closer examination revealed that Holly´s temperature was dangerously low.

"We will have to gradually bring her temperature up over the next fortnight,"said aquarist Carey Duckhouse.

"Once she´s warmed up and feeding we can arrange for her to be transferred to the new purpose-built Turtle Sanctuary at Weymouth, Dorset."

Holly is the second turtle to arrive at the Oban Sanctuary in a few months. A larger turtle found on Skye was sent there in the summer, and is now recuperating in a huge 500,000 litre ocean tank at the Dorset rescue facility.

"If Holly makes good progress there´s no reason why she shouldn´t be able to join that larger turtle on a release mission to Gran Canaria in the spring," said Carey.

Both turtles are thought to have wandered off course from their 8,000 mile migration circuit around an area of the North Atlantic called the Sargasso Sea.

"Holly is only seven or eight months old and would have been making this epic journey for the first time after hatching out on a Florida beach,"said Carey. "Skye had a missing flipper and it´s easy to see how a turtle with that kind of handicap could get pushed off course by the Gulf Stream,"she added. "It´s more of a mystery with Holly though."

For more details, please contact Mark Oakley on 01202 440040

Press Release date: 19th December 2006

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