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May 27, 2011

Sea Turtles Dying Off Coast of Guatemala

Humane Society International

  • An ill turtle, who later passed away. ARCAS

  • Hoping in vain for rehabilitation. ARCAS

  • Performing ultrasound. Eduardo Merida/ARCAS

  • Taking samples. ARCAS

  • The holding facility. ARCAS

In early May 2011, heartbreaking stories started coming in from the Pacific coast of Guatemala of sea turtles being washed ashore dead or dying. ARCAS, HSI’s partner organization in Guatemala, reported that they were Olive Ridley sea turtles. The ones who were alive had sunken, infected eyes. The dead ones had empty stomachs.

Unfortunately, all 34 turtles taken in by ARCAS have since died and local fishermen have reported seeing many more sick turtles at sea. The cause of this sudden and fatal illness is still a mystery. With support from HSI, ARCAS is sending samples to laboratories for analysis in an attempt to figure out what is happening and hopefully prevent more sea turtles from suffering the same fate.

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