A 50-pound olive ridley sea turtle was found 1 mile north of the Peter Iredale shipwreck in Hammond by Samuel K. Gardner. The turtle appeared dead at first, Seaside Aquarium staff reported last Thursday, but shortly after finding the animal, Gardner realized that it was still alive and contacted the aquarium.

Gardner was joined by Alec and Corinne Reeves, who just happened to be walking on the beach.

As the tide continued to come in and the surf raged up the beach, they decided that it would be best to get the turtle to a more secure location. Usually, it is best not to move a sea turtle until responders arrive but in this case it was necessary if the turtle was going to survive. Gardner and Alec Reeves carried the turtle more than a mile and were able to meet up with the responding staff from Seaside Aquarium.

The turtle was quickly loaded up and taken to the aquarium for evaluation.

It was one of the most active sea turtles staff at the aquarium had dealt with in a long time, staff reported, an uplifting sign. Thirty minutes after the turtle arrived at Seaside Aquarium staff was informed that not only was the Oregon Coast Aquarium ready and prepared to take in cold, stunned sea turtles, but that they had another olive ridley sea turtle en route.

The second turtle was found on the southern Oregon coast. Staff from the Seaside Aquarium drove the turtle down to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, one of two licensed rehabilitation facilities for sea turtles in the Pacific Northwest. The other facility is the Seattle Aquarium.

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