SEAL BEACH, Calif. — A critically endangered sea turtle washed ashore in Southern California, drawing the attention and concern of local residents.

The Orange County Register reports the four-foot-long Pacific leatherback sea turtle was spotted last Monday in Seal Beach by Sunset Beach resident John Gordon. The endangered turtle had visible damage to the back of its body.

Experts say as few as 2,000 of the turtles are left in the wild and the animal’s numbers are estimated to have dropped by 97 percent in the last 25 years.

Advocacy and Policy Director with the nonprofit Turtle Island Restoration Network Cassie Burdyshaw says it’s possible the turtle was trapped in gillnets used to catch swordfish or that it swallowed a plastic bag and choked, when another marine animal found it and tried eating it.


Information from: The Orange County Register, http://www.ocregister.com

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