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Turtle-ly amazing sight on beach.

THE arrival of a giant leatherback turtle made a big splash among locals.

The discovery at Cullenstown Strand, Co Wexford, attracted crowds to the picturesque beach over the weekend.

The animal, which belongs to the world's biggest turtle species, washed up on Friday. The South-East coast is a popular feeding ground for the species, who arrive every June to feed on jellyfish before heading south to feed in warmer waters in early autumn.

Naturalist Jim Hurley said a number of dead leatherback turtles washed up off the south Wexford coast last year, but this was the first to appear at Cullenstown Strand for some time.

He added: "There were people arriving having a look and taking photos over the weekend. Often these turtles die after they mistake plastic bags which have been thrown into the water for jellyfish and swallow them."

Mr Hurley said turtles can also die from swallowing burst balloons.

The cause of death of this spectacular creature remains unknown.

2.7m That's how big a leatherback turtles front flippers can grow to - the largest in any species of the turtle family
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Title Annotation:Editorial
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 21, 2013
Words:184
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