World’s rarest turtle washes up alive on small North Wales beach

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World's rarest turtle washes up alive on small North Wales beach
World's rarest turtle washes up alive on small North Wales beach

A couple in Flintshire, North Wales, made a remarkable discovery when they came across the world’s rarest turtle on a local beach.

Ash James and his wife Samantha discovered a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, the world’s rarest, on Talacre beach in North Wales on Sunday, November 28.

The turtle, also known as the Atlantic ridley sea turtle, is the world’s rarest and most endangered species of sea turtle.

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Ash, who is from Holywell in North Wales, was walking his dog when he stumbled across the rare sight.

Samantha said: “Ash thought it was dead as it was motionless.”

The couple decided to report the animal to the British Marine Life Rescue.


The couple and their son, Gethin, then returned to the beach.

Marine Mammal Medics attended the scene and asked the family to locate the turtle, which was remarkably still alive even though it was thousands of miles away from its home in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ash and Sam fittingly named the turtle Raphael.


It was in a state of cold-water shock, however, he surprisingly began to move when gently poked.

Anglesey Sea Zoo collected Raphael, where he will spend the next few months recovering before being released into its home in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sam added: “It was astonishing to find such an amazing creature on our local beach – we all have our fingers crossed that he survives.”


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Laura is from a small seaside town in North Wales and has also lived in Liverpool and Manchester, where she studied English Literature and worked in social media and marketing. Laura moved to the city of Zaragoza last August to teach English, but after missing the coast she decided to move to beautiful Nerja to enjoy the sun and sea. Laura has a passion for animals, films, outdoor activities, writing and the environment.

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