The body of a loggerhead turtle was found yesterday (Wednesday) on a beach south of Aberystwyth. 

The turtle was found on Tan-y-Bwlch beach on 13 December by volunteer Simon Batty during a survey of mermaid purses, or empty shark eggs. 

The body of the juvenile turtle was sadly found without a head, though the cause of death is unknown.

The small turtle measured 20cm by 15cm long with a brown mottled shell.  

The endangered species can’t tolerate conditions below 15 degrees Celsius and is likely to have been swept on currents as a young turtle from warmer waters from the US and Caribbean coasts. 

The turtle was found without a head on the beach near Aberystwyth (Simon Batty )

The British Marine Society have been alerted to the finding and urge all turtle encounters to be reported. 

This comes after Tonni the baby loggerhead turtle was saved by two dogs out walking on Moel-Y-Don beach, Anglesey, in January this year and taken into care at Anglesey Zoo. 

The zoo is now raising funds to create the UK’s first turtle rescue sanctuary after Tonni became the third turtle taken in by the organisation since 2016. They have so far raised £3,634 of the £50,000 target. 

The numbers of turtles found stranded on British and Irish shores is on the rise, with 15 spotted between November 2022 and February 2023. This figure is more than double the average four to six yearly stranding's according to the Marine Conservation Society (MCS).

MCS’ Amy Pilsbury suggests the rise in turtle numbers could be linked with the increase in tropical storms fueled by climate change.

She added: “Once they reach our waters, they will likely go into cold water shock, because it’s outside of their normal temperature range.” 

The 15 found were all small juveniles who will have struggled to fight strong winds or currents. Only leatherback turtles with their thick shells are suited to cooler climates, unlike species like Tonni the loggerhead, Menai the Olive Ridley turtle and Tally the Kemps Ridley turtle rescued by Anglesey zoo.

Loggerhead turtles are covered under strict environmental protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981), protecting the animals against injury, being captured, disturbed, or killed. 

To donate to Anglesey Zoo’s turtle rescue centre head to GoFundMe.