On Friday, a massive 350-pound, 30-year-old loggerhead turtle was found stranded on its back and potentially cold-stunned on a Cape Cod beach in Massachusetts, in the U.S.
It was rescued by experts from the Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, along with 150 other, younger, cold-stunned loggerheads. This time of year is well-known for seeing cold-stunned turtles stranded on Massachusetts beaches, but they are usually young, inexperienced turtles, none typically as big as the 350-pounder.
The older loggerhead was transferred into the care of the New England Aquarium where it was treated over the weekend, reports USA Today. Tragically, the Aquarium announced on its Facebook page that he had died on Tuesday.
Mass Audubon officials stated that it’s rare for such a big loggerhead to be stranded in Autumn. Following the necropsy results after his death, New England Aquarium experts explained that “The turtle had been ill for weeks or even months and had reduced body fat, pneumonia, and possible abnormalities in several organs.”
His death may not have been linked to cold-stunning, but the latter won’t have helped him in his recovery.