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Loggerhead turtle spotted in Dorset waters - the first since 1938
5:08pm Wednesday 21st August 2013 in News
A SAILOR was astonished to see a loggerhead turtle metres from his boat as he sailed in waters around Portland Bill.
Jim Davies spotted the creature on Sunday at about 3pm when it surfaced to breathe.
He said: “At one point it surfaced to breathe about 10 metres off the boat, saw me and dived - there have been a lot of jellyfish around lately so I imagine it was feeding on them."
Loggerheads are the second most encountered turtle species in the UK, with a total of 220 records in the UK and Eire TURTLE database up to the end of 2012.
But the last confirmed loggerhead report off the Dorset coast was in 1938 when a dead turtle was found between Charmouth and Lyme Regis and identified it from the shape of its skull.
Dr Peter Richardson, MCS Biodiversity Programme Manger, says: “Dead or dying stray juvenile loggerheads are regularly recorded washing up on UK beaches during winter months, but this sighting of an apparently healthy, larger, live animal at sea is of real interest.
“The Portland Bill loggerhead may still be in the area, so we urge anyone using the sea there to keep a look out for any turtles and report any they see to MCS – and take a camera, it would be marvellous to get a picture of this exotic visitor!”
MCS says it’s a good idea for people to download the UK Turtle Code to help identify the turtles they see and then report any sightings in the same place:
But if you do find a stranded loggerhead, don't return it to the water but report it immediately.
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