US Coast Guard rescues 800 pound leatherback turtle

You don’t tangle with an 800-pound leatherback turtle, unless you’re the Coast Guard.

Crew members from Coast Guard Station Cape May, N.J., and the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, N.J., rescued an approximately 800-pound leatherback turtle entangled in fishing gear.

The turtle was spotted about 30 miles offshore South Jersey a week ago.

Fishing gear is a major problem for leatherback turtles, the largest kind of its species and one of the largest living reptiles in the world. An adult can grow as large as 6.5 feet (two metres) and weigh up to 2,000 pounds (900 kg!)

Their breadth and weight can quickly entangle leatherback turtles in gillnets, longlines, trawls, traps and pots and dredges.

But this leatherback turtle got a little help from his friends in the Coast Guard.

Once freed, the turtle safely swam away.


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Peg Fong is also in recovery from newspapers

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