A baby loggerhead turtle that washed up on a Kerry beach earlier this year will be flying to the Azores in style this Christmas.
‘Toby’ the turtle washed up on Kilcummin Strand beach in County Kerry last August after traversing the Atlantic Ocean on her own.
She is believed to be from Florida and was hours from death when she was swept onto the sands at Castlegregory.
She was discovered by locals in a weak state and brought to the Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium in a bid to restore her health.
In the months that followed, Toby has recovered exceptionally well at the hands of the aquarium staff and is now twice the weight she first arrived at.
Now, with the assistance of staff from Rotterdam Zoo and Flying Sharks Portugal, the globetrotting turtle will be making her way to the Azores this Christmas.
The water in the Azores is at Toby’s natural climate this time of year.
She will be leaving Dublin Airport this evening on a cargo flight to Lisbon where she will be collected by Flying Sharks of Portugal.
Since the temperatures in the cargo hold are too cold, Toby will be travelling with the pilot in the cockpit.
The Flying Sharks group specialises in marine live animal collection and transport and is involved in many conservation projects.
The Dingle Aquarium thanked its own hard-working staff and Brendan O’Connell Vets in Dingle “who have been of great assistance throughout Toby’s rehabilitation”.
Toby is not the first loggerhead turtle to be flown out of Ireland after washing up here.
In 2021 a turtle named Julius Ceaser was flown to Gran Canaria two years he was found washed up on a Donegal beach.
Loggerhead sea turtles are considered an endangered species.
Their life expectancy ranges from 47-67 years old and can grow to as large as 450kg in weight.