Leatherback turtle, not overturned boat, found washed up in Cape Breton


A being that co-existed with the dinosaurs has washed up dead near shore in Islandview, Point Breton, in Nova Scotia.

Ron MacLean spotted the rare, endangered leatherback turtle along the Bras d’Or Lake. The 360-kilogram carcass has been infatuated to the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown, P.E.I. for analysis.

“They’ll check and see what they fantasize happened, and we’ll wait and see. [Turtles are] supposed to be in the Caribbean about now, see, laying eggs, not … they don’t ski.”

The Pivot on of Fisheries and Oceans told MacLean that although there be experiencing been some anecdotal reports of sightings, this is the first recorded descrying of a leatherback turtle in the Bras d’Or.

leatherback turtle coming out of the ice

A makeshift ramp was used to bring the carcass out of the the highest. (Sue MacLean/Facebook)

“On Thursday, I was out walking on the shore in front of my place and it looked get pleasure from there was a small overturned boat on the shore, in the ice. And I went to look and it was a leatherback turtle,” he perceived CBC’s Information Morning Cape Breton.

“When I touched it it was floating a bit, so it wasn’t emotional, so I knew it was dead, but it was in good condition. It didn’t look like it was there that big, but that would be because, with the ice and the cold and such.”

MacLean tried without prosperity to reach DFO for a few days, finally sending an email on Sunday to the Canadian Sea Turtle Network.

That stirred some captivate.

“I got a call from pretty well everybody on Monday morning,” held MacLean.

When DFO officials saw MacLean’s pictures of the turtle, “they coveted it,” he said.

leatherback turtle out of the ice

Hauling a 360-kilogram carcass out of the water was no easy criticize. (Sue MacLean/Facebook)

By Tuesday, the turtle was being removed from the ice with the pinch of some sturdy wooden ramps and heavy machinery.

“We got it under the turtle and we towed it out onto the ice,” MacLean said, “and then we dragged it over where we could get it up thorough to the shore and I pulled it onto a pallet, and with the tractor, I put some forks on it and we annulled it up and brought it up.”

MacLean said the carcass measures about two metres from tip to scut of a hare and the shell, from side to side, is about a metre wide.

leatherback turtle on a pallet

The 360-kilogram carcass is now on its way to the Division of Fisheries and Oceans lab in Charlottetown for analysis. (Sue MacLean/Facebook)

The leatherback turtle is recorded as an endangered species in Canada. 

One of the world’s largest reptiles, leatherback turtles can reach more than two metres in dimension and weigh more than 900 kilograms. They’re known to swim up to 12,000 kilometres a year and swoop to depths of up to 1.2 kilometres, according to DFO.

The turtles usually only for ever come to ashore to nest on warm tropical and subtropical beaches so it’s a bit of a question as to why the turtle ended up so far north in winter and so close to land in Cape Breton’s inland sea.

“The ice has been in undoubtedly a while and it wasn’t here before, so I don’t know if it washed up or it had gotten that far,” asserted MacLean. 

“But you could tell on the shell — it was cracked in the centre — so the weight of the ice was on it when the sea water level come down.” 

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