Green sea turtles are gentle giants of the ocean. Herbivores whose plant diet gives them their trademark green color, they roam the waters of the Earth. Certain populations of the green sea turtle are sadly dubbed endangered species. They weigh up to 350 pounds as adults and stretch up to 4 feet. But one individual member of the species proved much smaller, almost diminutive, when she washed ashore on an Oregon beach suffering from hypothermia. The 22-pound turtle was scooped up by rescuers from Seaside Aquarium, who immediately commenced lifesaving efforts for Squirt, as she is now called.
Squirt was found on Manzanita Beach on Saturday, January 6, 2024. Discovering a sea turtle on such a northern coastline is rare, and they are typically so cold that their heart rate is almost imperceptible. They must be rescued and stabilized before they can return to their watery home. After the Seaside Aquarium staff scooped up the turtle, they reported the following on their Facebook page: “When we arrived we were surprised by the turtle's small size. This little squirt was only 22 pounds, making it one of the smallest turtles we have seen. She was very active, moving her head up and down and when picked up would move her flippers as if she was swimming.”
They then took Squirt to Oregon Coast Aquarium where she will be rehabilitated before release. Adorable images of the turtle posted by the rescue show her snuggled under warm blankets to bring her temperature back up. She also fits perfectly in what appears to be a dog bed, flippers hanging over the edge. This lucky turn of events for Squirt is just one small part of a larger campaign for marine life. This involves cleaning up our waters and preventing plastic debris from harming wildlife, while fighting climate disaster. And for many like Squirt's rescuers, it means rescuing and warming cold turtles who wash ashore, as many did in Texas in 2021. Each little reptile rescued is a victory.