A rare Kemp’s ridley sea turtle has been taken to Blijdorp zoo in Rotterdam after it was washed up on a beach in Zoutelande, Zeeland.
The turtle is thought to have been carried away from its natural habitat in the Gulf of Mexico on the Gulf stream and may have become disoriented by the lower sea temperatures.
“The further north they go, the drowsier they become,” Jaap van der Hiele of the sea creatures rescue team told local radio show Zeeland Wordt Wakker. “It’s the time of year for it and they’ve recently been sighted off the coast of Ireland.”
The Kemp’s ridley is the smallest species of sea turtle, measuring up to 75cm and weighing a maximum of 50kg when fully grown.
It is also the rarest type, being classed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.