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Two lost loggerhead turtles crawl ashore in the Netherlands

By Adriana Stuijt     Dec 4, 2008 in Environment
ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands -- Two loggerhead sea turtle babies have crawled ashore in The Netherlands within just a month.
This was only the fifth time since 1701 that living loggerhead turtles were reported crawling ashore in the Low Countries. Their recent arrival within just a month of one another has created considerable excitement and curiosity among the nature-loving Dutchmen.
The first baby loggerhead sea turtle arrived in the province of North Holland along the North Sea shoreline at Callantsoog on October 23. It was in bad shape, rushed to Burgers' Zoo in Arnhem for revalidation, and now reportedly thriving. A month later, on 21 November, the second youngster showed up in the southerly province of Zeeland, near Westenschouwen. That one now lives at the Blijdorp Zoo in Rotterdam.
Experts say the little guys probably 'took the wrong turn-off' while they drifted along the North-Atlantic Current towards the Sargasso sea after hatching. The Loggerhead turtle babies which crawl from their eggs from shorelines along the westerly side of the North-Atlantic face have to take a turn-off when the Gulf Stream splits up into the North-Atlantic Current headed north and the Canarian Current which heads south. They should have take the southerly route: that becomes the North Equatorial Current and will take them straight to the Sargasso Sea.
Zoologists believe that these two probably did not come from the Mediterranean, which are genetically different -- and also have never been reported outside the Med. The Loggerhead can grow up to a majestic 800 lbs (364 kg) size, with maximum lengths of 3.5 feet (1.1 m).
Once the hatchlings crawl into the ocean they use ocean currents to travel to the Sargasso Sea using the floating plant-mats as protection until they mature.
More about Loggerhead turtles, Blijdorp zoo rotterdam, Burgers zoo arnhem
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