Entangled in lobster traps, 500-lb. sea turtle suffocates

A large sea turtle found in Chicxulub died after getting entangled in a lobster trap. Photo: Yucatán a la Mano
A large sea turtle found in Chicxulub died after getting entangled in a lobster trap. Photo: Yucatán a la Mano

Progreso, Yucatán — A giant leatherback sea turtle found dead on a beach at Chicxulub Puerto had suffocated after she got entangled in lobster traps and swallowed nylon wiring, authorities said.

A marine biologist, Juan Lara Rodríguez, said the age of the turtle could not be determined. She weighed 250 kilos (over 500 pounds) and measured 2.2 meters (7.2 feet) from head to tail.

The last time a large sea turtle washed ashore in the area was when a smaller hawksbill turtle was found in 2016.

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Named for their soft shells, the leatherback is the largest of all sea turtles.

Leatherbacks are also one of the most migratory of sea turtles, crossing both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Their numbers have seriously declined during the last century as a result of intense egg collection and harm from fisheries.

Globally, leatherbacks a vulnerable species, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature is listed as vulnerable. Many subpopulations are critically endangered.

With information from Progreso Hoy

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