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Sadness as Donegal turtle dies 27.01.15

DONEGAL and its wildlife is making headlines again today with news of another endangered turtle washing up on our coastline.
The loggerhead turtle was discovered at Glencolmcille at the weekend by local woman Grainne Rua who alerted wildlife authorities.
The creature, named 'Columba' was very weak when found. It was transferred for treatment to the Exploris Aquarium in Portaferry, Co Down.
It sadly passed away last night despite the centre's heroic efforts to save it.
Columba's ordeal follows confirmation that a small marine reptile washed up dead in Rossnowlagh over Christmas, was the world's smallest and most endangered species, the Kemp's Ridley turtle.
Glencolmcille turtle Columba has sadly passed away. Photo: IWDG Facebook.
The creature, measuring about a foot long, was found by Coastwatch Ireland volunteer Aoife Flynn.
Just over 40 Kemp's Ridley turtles have been recorded in Irish waters since the 18th Century. Only 1,000 breeding females are known to currently exist.
Greencastle-based zoologist Dr Trish Murphy helped perform the autopsy on the turtle found in Rossnowlagh, identifying it as the rare breed.
Meanwhile, latest data taken from her GPS tracker, shows that 15 year old 'Leona' is "getting stronger and healthier" as the weeks progress.
Her average swimming speed has increased from 20km a day to 29km a day, with scientists hopeful she will eventually reach the loggerhead average of about 38.4km a day. Her GPS data, analysed by Celestial Green Ventures, shows that she is currently in waters off the coast of Western Sahara.
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