Tropical sea turtle rescued after washing up on island beach

The loggerhead turtle, believed to have came from the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic ocean, was discovered on the Isle of Iona.

Tropical sea turtle rescued after washing up on island beach Supplied

A tropical sea turtle has been rescued from a beach in the Inner Hebrides after washing up on shore.

The loggerhead turtle, a tropical species that needs warm temperatures to survive, was found by a member of the public on the Isle of Iona on Thursday.

It was taken to the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, where it was seen by a vet and then put in an aquarium.

The turtle was then taken to Oban by ferry, before going to Loch Lomond Sea life Centre where it is currently being cared for.

It is believed the turtle arrived in Scotland from the Gulf Stream, a warm ocean current that originates in the Gulf of Mexico.

BDMLR said is it rare that washed up tropical turtles are found alive, and need to be returned to warmer sea temperatures to survive.

The turtle needs to be returned to warmer sea temperatures to survive. Supplied

A spokesperson for British Divers Marine Life Rescue said: “Loggerhead turtles are a tropical and sub-tropical turtle species which enter the Gulf Stream when born and can find themselves pushed too far north to survive.

“They wash up in the UK most years and are normally smaller, weaker animals.

“As reptiles, they are cold blooded and need warmer sea temperatures to thrive and in the cold north Atlantic get severely hypothermic, malnourished and dehydrated and their body shuts down.

“Many wash up dead, but the ones found alive and reported to BDMLR go to rehabilitation in aquariums that are familiar with their care and have facilities to treat them.

“If they survive (that’s a big ‘if’, as often they are already too far gone) then they are returned to the wild in places such as the Canary Islands.

“This turtle will have to have its body temperature increased very gradually to avoid thermal shock, so the water temperature will be adjusted incrementally.

“BDMLR would like to say a massive thank you to all parties involved, as everyone really came together to help this turtle and give it the best chance of survival, we couldn’t be more grateful!”