The remains of a female loggerhead turtle were washed up on Eastern beach yesterday, bringing into sharp relief the plight of this endangered species of nomads of the sea.
Loggerhead turtles migrate across the entire globe, so it is likely that this animal travelled tens of thousands of kilometres in its life before ending up here.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources estimates that there are only 60,000 nesting females in the world.
The turtle that washed up in Gibraltar yesterday was aged between 18 and 35, according to local conservationists, and was in the prime of its life. It weighed over 50 kilograms and was almost a metre long.
The remains were intact and the most probable cause of death was asphyxiation.
Clive Crisp, Environment Officer at the Department of the Environment, said the turtle had no physical signs of injury from propellers or fishing gear.
“The most common causes of death, and our unconfirmed speculation, is that she has eaten plastic marine litter which turtles commonly mistake for jellyfish (their favourite food source),” he said.
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