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WATCH: Leatherback turtle seen off Cornwall?

WATCH: Leatherback turtle seen off Cornwall?

Published by Emma Carton at 8:42am 16th October 2018. (Updated at 9:52am 16th October 2018)

This photo has emerged of what is believed to be a leatherback turtle swimming off the Cornish coast.

Dave Rideout whipped his camera out after spotting the giant creature in Coverack Bay.

One theory is that it was washed close during Storm Callum and the warmer waters we are experiencing.

Marine experts told Dave it would be the first leatherback seen alive in Duchy waters since the 1970s.

giant turtle at polkerris
What is thought to be a leatherback turtle has been photographed off Cornwall, just weeks after two others were found dead

The deceased leatherback turtle, pictured above, was discovered off Polkerris at the end of August.

Richard Pears and James Mustoe, along with James's children, were returning from a wildlife watching trip.

"When we first saw this turtle we really did not know what to make of it.

"It was the size of a small boat, something Barnaby and Reuben could have both sat on and left room to spare.

"While obviously a sad sight, I hope that the information gleaned from our encounter will help people understand more about these magnificent animals and how they come to be in our waters in the future".

Local Councillor, Richard Pears

turtle 4
Two leatherbacks have been discovered dead in recent months - the first near Penzance and the second off Polkerris

A post mortem revealed the leatherback pictured above, found near Penzance, had plastic in its stomach.

Experts carried out tests after it washed up between Long Rock and Marazion back in August.

They discovered that deep cuts on its shell, consistent with propeller wounds, pointed to a “possible cause” of death.

"Prior to her death she was in good condition and had eaten relatively soon before dying.

"She showed no obvious entanglement injuries but had deep cuts across her shell that are consistent with propeller wounds.

"It is not 100% sure that these wounds happened prior to death, but such injuries do point to a possible cause".

Lead Investigator, Professor Brendan Godley

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