Tropical sea turtle found off Vancouver Island released to warmer waters

‘Berni Stranders’ is only the fourth olive ridley sea turtle recorded in B.C. waters

Berni the olive ridley sea turtle was released into warmer waters off the coast of California. (PHOTO COURTESY MARINE MAMMAL RESCUE)

Berni the olive ridley sea turtle was released into warmer waters off the coast of California. (PHOTO COURTESY MARINE MAMMAL RESCUE)

A tropical sea turtle that was rescued from the Alberni Inlet last year has returned to warmer waters.

An olive ridley sea turtle was discovered by an employee at Franklin Forest Products last September and transferred to the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre at the Vancouver Aquarium. Berni Stranders—as he was nicknamed by the aquarium—had been “cold-stunned” by the chilly waters of the inlet, with a decreased heart rate and circulation. Cold-stunned turtles can become lethargic to the point where they are unable to swim or forage.

After almost a year of “intensive” rehabilitation, Berni was released off the coast of San Diego, California with the help of SeaWorld.

“A happy ending for rescued sea turtle Berni Stranders!” Vancouver Aquarium posted on Twitter on Sept. 11.

According to the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, Berni is only the fourth olive ridley sea turtle recorded in B.C. waters, and only the second of its species to be treated at the rescue centre.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

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Berni the olive ridley sea turtle was released into warmer waters off the coast of California. (PHOTO COURTESY MARINE MAMMAL RESCUE)

Berni the olive ridley sea turtle was released into warmer waters off the coast of California. (PHOTO COURTESY MARINE MAMMAL RESCUE)

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