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Startling Find Washes Ashore on Spanish Beach

An enormous turtle washed up on a Spanish beach recently, requiring large equipment to be hauled away.

The turtle, which was reportedly nearly 7-feet long and weighed around 1,500 pounds, washed ashore at Calella, near Barcelona on Spain’s northeast coast.

The turtle was so cumbersome and large that a crane was called in to remove the animal. it wasn’t clear what was the turtle’s cause of death.

The turtle was sent to the Autonomous University of Barcelona for an autopsy.

Pere Alzina, a biologist from Arenys de Mar, told the Spanish paper La Vanguardia “we could have the great surprise of finding a leatherback turtle nest in the Mediterranean.”

A smaller turtle washed ashore in Spain earlier in September.

According to National Geographic, leatherbacks, which can live for up to 45 years, live in both the tropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, as well as in the Mediterranean.

National Geographic said leatherbacks can wander “as far north as Canada and Norway and as far south as New Zealand and South America.”

Leatherbacks have been found dead recently along the coasts of Britain.

“They come up from French Guiana in South America to feed on jellyfish in British waters,” said Rod Penrose, strandings coordinator for Wales, where a giant turtle recently washed ashore.

About 10 leatherbacks have washed ashore in Britain over the last two months, most of them dead, according to Penrose.

“It’s not unusual to see them – this is the end of their feeding period and they are getting caught out by the cold conditions,” he said.