Necropsy performed on P.E.I. for leatherback turtle found in Cape Breton

A postmortem was done on P.E.I. for the endangered leatherback turtle found last week washed up in Cape Breton.

Preliminary investigation shows the turtle was emaciated

The leatherback turtle was removed from the ice in Cape Breton earlier this week. (Sue MacLean/Facebook)

A postmortem was done on P.E.I. for the endangered leatherback turtle found last week washed up in Cape Breton.

The turtle was discovered in Bras d'Or Lake, far from the usual southern winter sites for the leatherback turtles.

Laura Bourque, a wildlife pathologist with the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, conducted the necropsy at the Atlantic Veterinary College.

The 360-kilogram carcass was transported to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans lab in Charlottetown for a necropsy. (Sue MacLean/Facebook)

"This is an odd time of year to find one. It's very, very early in the year, which is too cold for them typically, and we usually find stranded leatherbacks on the south shore of Nova Scotia and around Cape Breton," she said.

"We've never had one stranded before in the Bras d'Or Lakes to our knowledge."

Laura Bourque, a wildlife pathologist with the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, conducted the necropsy on the stranded leatherback turtle at the Atlantic Veterinary College. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

Bourque said the preliminary investigation shows the turtle was emaciated, noting it was thin and in poor body condition.

She also said citizen scientists are critical for the work done on marine creatures and if anyone discovers marine creatures, they should contact wildlife organizations.