Meet Yawkey, the giant sea turtle everybody's talking about
Lo and behold, a giant sea turtle has entered our Internet lives. And when we say giant, we’re talking 475 pounds of turtle.
This massive leatherback sea turtle was found stranded off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday. It’s believed to be the fifth live rescue of the species in the US. It’s also believed to be “immature”—that’s to say the amazing creature is just a fraction of the size of some leatherback turtles, who grow to be up to 2,000 pounds. Because it’s only about 10 to 15 years old, it hasn’t developed sexual organs so experts can’t tell whether it’s a boy or a girl. What they do know is that it’s in pretty good spirits, considering how close it came to being stranded, and how weird its life is at this current moment.
Rescued by the South Carolina Aquarium, the turtle—now nicknamed Yawkey, after being found on the Yawkey-South Island Preserve— is being treated in a “sea turtle hospital” with fluids, antibiotics and vitamins it needs to survive upon release.
These turtles are also on the endangered species list, and aren’t known for doing well in captivity. That’s why it’s all hands on deck for this one. Depending on its recovery, this turtle might even be released back into the wild in a couple of days, according to SCA’s website. In the meantime, visitors to the aquarium are able to view the amazing creature for a two hour window while it remains in triage. Meanwhile, the Internet has already been checking out Yawkey all over the place. Pictures of the big guy (or gal) are flooding social media, because, heck, it’s a giant turtle
The SCA states that Yawkey’s getting healthier by the day, so hopefully it will be able to return home soon. The ocean’s a crazy place, and here’s to Yawkey’s speedy release.