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Last Updated: Tuesday January 08 2008 18:44 GMT

Rare turtles washed up on beaches

Stranded loggerhead turtle Photo: George Middleton

Beach walkers are being urged to be on the lookout for stranded sea turtles, after several were found washed up in Scotland and Wales.

Experts say two endangered species of turtle have been found.

They say strong winds are blowing young creatures away from their home waters near America, and into the UK's seas, which are too cold for them.

People who find turtles are being told not to put them back in the water, but to contact the RSPCA to rescue them.

Since Christmas, two young loggerhead turtles have been discovered dead on beaches in Scotland.

Stranded loggerhead turtle Photo Peter Richardson/MCS
Rescued turtles are looked after and can return to full health
Loggerheads are an endangered species, which nest on beaches on the south east coast of America.

It is thought they can live up to 100 years, and grow up to 110 centimetres long.

In Wales, one of the world's rarest kinds of marine turtle, called a Kemp's ridley, was washed up.

It was found alive and taken to a rescue centre, but sadly died a few days later.

And experts are warning that strong winds forecast for this week could bring in more turtles.

They want people to report them even if they appear dead, and to put them in a dry, sheltered place until help arrives.



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