Endangered green sea turtle found on B.C. beach heading back south

Comber the rehabilitated green sea turtle swims in a tank at the Vancouver aquarium in Vancouver, Tuesday, April, 19, 2016. Comber was found on a remote beach on Vancouver Island in January and has been recovering from hypothermia at the aquarium ever since.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

VANCOUVER - A green sea turtle rescued from British Columbia's frigid ocean this winter is on his way back to warmer waters.

The turtle, dubbed Comber by Vancouver Aquarium staff, was found on a remote beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island in January, suffering from hypothermia so severe that it was difficult to tell if the animal was alive.

Comber was brought to the Vancouver Aquarium's Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, where staff slowly warmed him while using an ultrasound to keep track of his heartbeats.

Aquarium staff say the 35-kilogram turtle responded to treatment quickly and is now ready to begin a long journey back to the wild, starting with a trip to the border Wednesday, where he'll be picked up by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Comber, who staff estimate is between 12 and 20 years old, will be taken to SeaWorld San Diego to finish his rehabilitation and once water temperatures off the coast of California are warm enough, he and a number of other rescued turtles will be released.

Green sea turtles are listed as endangered world wide and are usually found in the waters off Mexico and Hawaii.

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