Endangered turtle washed up at St Cyrus

Joe Hibbs and Isla Smith are pictured looking at the turtle. 'Andy Thompson Photography / ATIMAGES

Joe Hibbs and Isla Smith are pictured looking at the turtle. 'Andy Thompson Photography / ATIMAGES

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A species of endangered turtle was found washed up on St Cyrus beach yesterday (Friday).

The 1.5 metre Leatherback Turtle was discovered on the beach in the morning.

Staff from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) in Inverness arrived to remove the body of the turtle with the help from volunteers.

According to the WWF website: “The leatherback turtle is the largest marine turtle and one of the largest living reptiles. Leatherbacks are one of the most migratory of all marine turtle species, making both trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific crossings. They are easily distinguished by their carapace, which is leathery, not hard as in other turtles, and by their long front flippers.”

The turtles are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as vulnerable as a species, but many sub-populations are classed as critically endangered.

Joe Hibbs and Isla Smith are pictured looking at the turtle.