Giant Loggerhead Turtle Dies After Being Found on Cape Cod Beach

The 350-pound turtle was found in Truro and taken to New England Aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital in Quincy, where he later died

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Despite valiant efforts from veterinarians with the New England Aquarium, the rare loggerhead sea turtle found on a Cape Cod beach Friday has died.

The 350-pound sea turtle was found on a beach in Truro Friday and taken to the New England Aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital in Quincy. The aquarium shared the news of its death on Facebook Tuesday night.

Necropsy results found that the turtle had been ill for weeks, maybe even months before it was found. It had reduced body fat, pneumonia, and possible abnormalities in several organs, according to the aquarium.

Aquarium veterinarians and biologists administered medications and replacement fluids in an attempt to stabilize the turtle, but did not expect it to make it through the first night.

"Over the weekend, he remained in guarded condition with multiple health problems," the aquarium wrote. "Despite receiving expert care around the clock, his condition continued to deteriorate."

Myrtle, a green sea turtle, is estimated to be 90 years old and could live for decades more. She currently resides at the New England Aquarium.

The turtle, which is likely well over 30 years old, was barely alive when volunteers found it. He could not breathe on its own when it arrived at the aquarium’s sea turtle hospital.

This particular sea turtle was about the largest a loggerhead gets, which is why veterinarians don't think the cold water stunned him, a phenomenon happening to hundreds of much smaller turtles right now.

The sea turtle hospital in Quincy has treated 152 of the 248 cold stunned turtles rescued so far this fall. The aquarium said it continues its work for the more than 70 other turtles in the hospital and dozens more that are stranded daily.

Anyone who comes across stranded turtles over the next few weeks is urged to call the Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and let them know the specific location on the beach.

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