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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 December 2006, 07:18 GMT
Turtle blown off course in storms
Loggerhead Turtle (Pic by Wyn Parry)
The turtle was probably blown off course in stormy weather
A 3ft (0.91m) Loggerhead Turtle normally found in warm waters around the Canary Islands has been found stranded on a west Wales beach.

The turtle was discovered on the sand at Pembrey Country Park in Carmarthenshire by a park ranger.

It is thought recent stormy weather sent the creature off course.

Named Pembrey, the turtle has been taken to the Turtle Rehabilitation Facility in Dorset to recover and will eventually be released into the wild.

Rod Penrose from Marine Environmental Monitoring said he received a call from park ranger Wyn Parry who found the turtle and drove it to the rescue centre in Weymouth.

"The water in the turtle's holding tank will be raised 1C a day until it reaches 20C, at this temperature the internal organs should start to function and Pembrey can start to be fed," he explained.

"Staff are hoping that Pembrey, who's gullet appeared on initial examination to be impacted with sand, will with treatment eventually recover and become fit enough to be released back to the wild in warm waters off the Canary Islands."

He said that although the cold blooded Loggerheads are seen in low numbers off the coast of Wales each year, it is not native to UK waters.

"Attracted by the warm Gulf Stream they can become forced off course by strong storms at sea and end up in our colder waters where they become cold and lethargic and can die," he explained.

"With the recent persistent gale force winds it is possible that more marine animals may also strand.

"Any whales, dolphins, porpoises or marine turtles found stranded around the Welsh coastline should be reported immediately to the RSPCA or Marine Environmental Monitoring," he added.


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