The body of a leatherback sea turtle is now at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown after its carcass washed ashore at Skinners Pond on Sept. 11.
“Sea turtles live in the ocean and can therefore be found anywhere around an ocean,” said Kip Ready, senior communications officer with the Department of Fisheries & Communities.
The leatherback sea turtle is the largest turtle species in the world, measuring between four and a half to five and a half feet long, and weighing up to 2,200 pounds. The one discovered in Skinners Pond weighs 988 pounds. This is the only species of turtle that doesn’t have a hard shell and scales, but has a carapace made of skin and oily flesh which looks like rubbery leather, hence its name. Its population is considered to be vulnerable.
In the Atlantic region, these turtles feed in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, near Quebec, and as far north as Newfoundland and Labrador.
This is the second time the body of a leatherback sea turtle has washed up in West Prince. In 2016 one was discovered by fisher Duncan Knox in the Brae area, off of Campbell Shore Road.
Aside from its weight, there isn’t much known about the turtle right now.
“The Department is anticipating the necropsy be performed by the AVC this week,” concluded Mr Ready.