Nfld. & Labrador

Parsons Pond leatherback turtle returns, needs 2nd rescue

A stranded leatherback turtle that was led back to sea on the Northern Peninsula Monday came back to shore again Tuesday — and again — had to be rescued.
DFO fishery officer Tracy Shears and Wayne Ledwell of the Whale Strandings and Release Group help move the leatherback turtle back to the ocean near Parsons Pond Tuesday. (Department of Fisheries and Oceans)

A stranded leatherback turtle that was led back to sea on the Northern Peninsula Monday came back to shore again Tuesday — and again — had to be rescued.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said the leatherback had beached itself for a second time in Parsons Pond.

DFO contracted the Whale Strandings and Release Group to help move the sea turtle back to the ocean, with the help of a DFO officer.
Nevin Blanchard says the leatherback sea turtle, the largest of its kind, was more than 6-feet long and weighed between 500 and 600 pounds. (Submitted by Nevin Blanchard)

A spokesperson from DFO said once the turtle got in the water it "appeared to be swimming very well and diving," both of which are positive signs.

Typically, the spokesperson said, male leatherback turtles do not come ashore and females will only return to tropical locations to lay eggs.

Local residents of Parsons Pond sprang to action Monday, when the same turtle was discovered washed up on the shoreline.

Nevin Blanchard said he, two men and his seven-year-old son worked to clear a path for the turtle, dousing it with water as it made its way back into the ocean.

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