Posted because a) this is where I used to live, b) I’ve had the privilege of seeing rehabbed sea turtles up close and personal, c) the man on the left is a former coworker, but mostly:
d) this has got to be one of the coolest photographs ever.
You can click the image to biggify. It’s kind of grainy, but still…! Is that the best fireman’s carry you ever saw, or what? (Okay, a slightly modified version.)
This is a green sea turtle, found stranded on a Newport beach by a tourist. She reported it to the hotel where she was staying, and the hotel staff reported it to the Marine Mammal Stranding Network.
When Jim Rice, coordinator of the stranding network, got the call, he knew there was a good chance the turtle wasn’t dead, but rather “cold stunned,” or hypothermic. While this is the first live sea turtle he’s rescued off the Oregon coast in the seven years he’s been here, he’s seen plenty during his time at the New England Aquarium in Boston, where the staff rehabilitated sea turtles that washed up on Cape Cod.
Cold stunned sea turtles do a very convincing impression of dead sea turtles. In the typically blunt parlance of aquarium husbandry staff, the saying is: “They’re not dead unless they’re warm and dead.” Time and again, seemingly deceased sea turtles have returned to life once they were (very carefully!) warmed up.
This turtle has been warmed and fed, and seems to be doing well. Fingers crossed that it will continue to improve — and kudos to everyone involved in its rescue.