Turtle found dead with its shell shattered off Sliema coast

Female loggerhead was most likely 'hit by a boat', says Nature Trust

A female loggerhead turtle was found dead with its shell shattered in three places just off the coast of Sliema on Sunday afternoon.

The marine reptile’s carcass was picked up by Transport Malta’s maritime section and brought in to St Julian’s, Nature Trust said on their Facebook page.

“The turtle was approximately 17 years old and died after being hit by a boat,” Nature Trust said, adding an appeal to boat owners to “please sail carefully”.

Loggerhead turtles can be found in seas and oceans across the world, including the Mediterraean.

The average loggerhead grows to about 90cm in length, though large specimens can be as big as 2.8 metres long.

They reach sexual maturity within 17 to 33 years, meaning the turtle found dead on Sunday most likely died before it had the chance to reproduce. Loggerhead turtles live roughly 47 to 67 years.

Earlier this week, 100 loggerhead turtles hatched at Ġnejna Bay. The eggs had been laid in June and were kept under constant surveillance by the Environment and Resources Authority and Nature Trust volunteers.

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