Five sea turtles were found dead along various New Jersey and Delaware shores in recent days.
On Sunday, three loggerhead turtles and one leatherback turtle were found dead on beaches in Island Beach State Park in Berkeley, North Wildwood, Spring Lake, and the Townsend Inlet area of Sea Isle City. The remains of another leatherback turtle also washed ashore early Monday morning in Delaware.
“The turtle deaths did not appear unusual,” said Sheila Dean, co-director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center per Asbury Park Press. “It just has to do with the tides and the winds and the seas.”
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Dean said the loggerhead sea turtles weighed around 30 to 45 pounds and the leatherback turtle, in Sea Isle City, weighed about 245 pounds. Per the Beach News Report, Suzanne Thurman, executive director of Marine Education, Research, and Rehabilitation Institute (MERR), says the leatherback turtle, found in Dewey Beach, was about five-feet long and about 500 pounds in weight.
Thurman says the strong northeast wind is bringing remains to the shores of area beaches.
According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the leatherback sea turtle is an endangered species and the loggerhead turtle is a threatened species.
If anyone encounters a sea turtle call the Marine Mammal Stranding Center at 609-266-0538.