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TURTLE BELIEVED TO HAVE COME FROM SAMOA FOUND DEAD IN PHILIPPINES

THIS GREEN sea turtle came all the way from Samoa but was found dead on the beach of San Juan town, La Union province. [LAURA RIAVITZ/CONTRIBUTOR]

DAGUPAN CITY — A green sea turtle was found dead by La Union fishermen on Friday after it was believed to have swum 8,000 kilometers from Samoa.

The fishermen of Taboc village in San Juan town found the turtle floating about 200 meters from the shore. The turtle was tagged with the inscription “240 Apia Samoa sprep@sprep.org 448695.”

“Maybe it was coming to feed,” said Laura-Amelie Riavitz, an Austrian marine biologist who serves as a marine resources consultant in La Union province.

The sea turtle measured 6 feet from the tip of its head to its tail, had a diameter of 4.5 feet and weighed 140 kilograms. It was estimated to be between 50 and 80 years old.

San Juan is a nesting ground for sea turtles but Riavitz said the turtle, a female, had not laid any eggs.

“Sea turtles only lay eggs where they are born. The tag might have been put there when it was nesting in Samoa,” Riavitz said.

The fishermen reported their find to Science of Identity Foundation, which is promoting coastal underwater resource management and the conservation and protection of sea turtles.

Riavitz said they were unable to determine the cause of the turtle’s death, although she speculated that the creature might have collided with a ship as it swam to La Union.



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