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Rare sea turtle found dead on North Carolina’s Outer Banks

FILE - In this March 12, 2015, file photo, a rare leatherback sea turtle named Yawkey moves off...
FILE - In this March 12, 2015, file photo, a rare leatherback sea turtle named Yawkey moves off the beach and returns to the the Atlantic Ocean at Isle of Palms, S.C., after it was treated at the South Carolina Aquarium. Federal ocean managers are collecting information and comments until Feb. 5, 2018, on a petition from a fishing group asking it to move the leatherback off the United States list of endangered animals. Leatherbacks live all over the world's oceans and have been listed as endangered by the U.S. since 1970. (AP Photo/Bruce Smith, File)(Bruce Smith | AP)
Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 9:56 AM EST
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FRISCO, N.C. (AP) - A species of sea turtle that is rarely seen on North Carolina’s Outer Banks has been found dead in a Frisco marsh near the Pamlico Sound.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Tuesday that biologists have so far been unable to find a cause of death of the leatherback sea turtle. The creature weighed upwards of 500 pounds. And biologists solicited the help  of a construction company’s crane to lift the dead animal onto a barge.

Biologists with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the National Park Service found no obvious cause of death.

The investigation revealed no physical injuries, plastics in the intestines or major parasites. But the animal’s organs suggested the animal was under physiological stress.

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