Residents of northern Nova Scotia have seen quite a few strange things over the years but never has something like this washed up from Bras d’Or Lake.
Last week a local Cape Bretoner, Ron MacLean, was out walking the shores in front of his home when he stumbled across this deceased Leatherback turtle, measuring about two meters from tip to tail and one meter across the shell.
MacLean told CBC’s Information Morning Cape Breton:
When I touched it it was floating a bit, so it wasn’t moving, so I knew it was dead, but it was in good condition. It didn’t look like it was there that long, but that would be because, with the ice and the cold and such.”
As you can probably imagine moving such a large animal from the ice, all while keeping its integrity is no easy feat. The effort required tactful maneuvering and the help of some sturdy wooden ramps and heavy machinery.
For those who don’t know much about Leatherback turtles; this cold-blooded creature is one of the world’s largest reptiles and can reach more than two meters in length weighing more than 900 kilograms. According to DFO (Department of Fisheries and Oceans), Leatherbacks are known to swim up to 12,000 kilometers a year and dive to depths of up to 1.2 kilometers.
As much as sea turtles have been spotted along Nova Scotia and Cape Breton’s shoreline during the summer, they typically move to warmer tropical waters in the winter time for nesting.
Why this big guy ended up so far north in the winter, is still a mystery but a few scientists have some very plausible hypothesis.
This was probably an animal that was probably feeding late into the year along the coastline in the open Atlantic side of Cape Breton […] It probably wandered into one of the inlets as it was feeding on jellyfish. I suspect, given where it was, it probably didn’t easily reorient to find its way back out into the open Atlantic.”
— Sea turtle biologist Mike James
Given the Leatherback endangered species status, finding one dead is always a blow to the population, but this death will not be in vain. Since its discovery, the animal carcass has been removed and transported to the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown PEI for a follow-up necropsy.
Here scientists will be able to collect as much information as possible on this species, and hopefully use some of this data to eventually help this turtle population rebound.
Writers Note: Sources CBC News, Global News, the Canadian Sea Turtle Network and DFO. Photo Credit: Sue MacLean and The Canadian Press/HO, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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Compact underwater scuba diving hand reel with a 150ft of white line on the spool
Suunto SK-8 wrist compass with bungee straps, faster stabilization, and enhanced readability
Black Mares Dragon Scuba Diving BCD
Sigma MC-11 mount converter lens adapter (Sigma EF-Mount lens to sony E cameras). Essential photo kit contains Altura photo rapid-fire wrist strap, small lens pouch, cleaning kit, and microfiber lens cleaning cloth.
DUI heavy duty dry suit gloves with yellow liners available in sizes: S, M, L, XL
Black Mares Cruise Roller Tauchen bag, perfect for scuba diving and traveling
The Hydra 5000 WSRU is an all in one photo and dive light with wide, spot, red, and UV modes
Ikelite Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1 underwater camera housing in white
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Large Aperture Standard Zoom Lens for Canon Digital DSLR Camera + 32GB Memory Card + Photo4Less Cleaning Cloth.
Mini blue scuba diving tank key ring with brass pick tool and o-rings
Ikelite photography strobe DS161 with NiMH rechargeable battery pack
Ikelite compact ball arm for quick release handle
Ikelite underwater macro lens casing is comprised of an acetyl body with glass front and can hold lenses of 4.37 diameter x 3 inches (111 x 76 mm)
3PC curved armband glow in the dark slate.
Diving lens filter kit for GoPro HERO 5/6 which enhances colors for underwater video and photography conditions
Bare drysuit drawstring scuba gear bag the perfect alternative for transporting a dry suit to-and-from the dive site
Suunto Vyper Novo wrist scuba diving computer with USB
If you’re not quite ready for the expense of big lights, this little video light goes perfectly with any GoPro setup
GoPro dual battery charger conveniently charges two HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black, or HERO camera batteries simultaneously
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens
GoPro HERO6 Black Camera
Rechargeable Ikelite NiMH battery pack compatible with Ikelite’s DS125, DS160, and DS161 strobes.
Compact scuba diving finger spool with 150ft of white line and a 4-inch brass double-ended clip
Bare drysuit trek boots designed for rocky shore entries, boat decks, and boat ladders
Bare 5mm evoke women’s full suit designed by Bare’s all-female design team. The suit has technically, innovative celliant infrared technology which increase circulation, body warmth and performance.
Sony Alpha a6500 24MP mirrorless camera with a 16-50mm lens, able to shoot 4K movies.
SHOOT 6″ Underwater Dome Port for GoPro Hero 6/Hero 5/Hero(2018) Black Camera Diving Lens Hood Housing Photography with Waterproof Case Accessories
Scuba diving 4ft neon yellow surface marker signal tube with “Diver Below” print
Bare SB System Mens Full Under-layer
Black scuba diving turtle fins
Flexible Lightweight Portable Tripod for Projector DSLR Cameras and Go Pro
Bare Sports 5mm men’s wetsuit made with elastek full-stretch nylon-2 and neoprene celliant liner infrared technology.
Capture amazingly smooth shake-free video with the GoPro Karma Grip
Ikelite TTL dual flash sync cord attaches two strobe’s to the underwater camera housing.
AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod and Bag with adjustable-height legs and rubber feet
Canon Macro Lens EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM – non Image Stabilised
Capture amazingly smooth GoPro footage in the air with the GoPro Karma Drone
13-inch inflatable dive buoy with a 12 by 11-inch scuba diving flag surface marker
Bare 7mm thick elastek dry suit hood
Dry glove lock system that accommodates all hand sizes
The Sony SEL90M28G FE 90 mm f/2.8-22 Macro G OSS Standard-Prime Lens for E (NEX) Cameras.
Ikelite aluminum digital camera tray with dual handles