A rare but sad find on Gigha beach

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While carrying out a beach clean with a volunteer on Thursday, January 13, Isle of Gigha ranger Casey-Jo Zammit discovered the washed up body of a rare Kemp’s ridley sea turtle.

‘Unfortunately, the poor thing was not alive when we found it,’ said Ms Zammit, ‘but the stranding was reported to the Marine Conservation Society.

‘It’s a pretty important species. According to National Geographic, the Kemp’s ridley turtle is the world’s most endangered sea turtle, listed as a critically endangered species, so it’s amazing that this creature has washed up on Gigha, especially considering they are usually distributed throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the east coast of the United States.

‘It was a shame, though, that we weren’t able to conclude the cause of death, as this is important data to contribute to conservation efforts, and, of course, it’s especially sad to see such a beautiful species in this way.’

Ms Zammit is asking Gigha residents and visitors to keep an eye out on the island’s shores and inform her via the Isle of Gigha Ranger Service Facebook page of any wildlife strandings, so professional help can be sought and to assist other organisations in monitoring populations.