A rare and endangered olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) washed up on Stinson Beach last week at the Seadrift gated community, far from its preferred habitat in warmer Pacific waters. Due to El Niño, the female turtle (who for unknown reasons has been nicknamed Donatello) likely traveled further north than usual with the warmer ocean currents and became stranded and sickly in the cold water here, and floated on the surface of the water for an extended period before washing ashore -- experts refer to her as a "floater."
Donatello has received some antibiotics and hydration, and has been transported to Sea World in San Diego where she is recovering. "Her condition is stable," said Sea World spokesman David Koontz. "She is still lethargic, still a bit dehydrated, and also has parasites. We're continuing to monitor her condition and provide medical treatment."
We wish her the best of luck in being returned to the wild.