Huge leatherback turtle stranded on beach is dragged back to sea

Passers-by helped carry a huge 30 stone turtle back to the sea after they found it stranded on a beach.

The giant leatherback turtle was spotted lost and struggling to return to the water in Oping Beach, Indonesia, last week.

Crowds pushed and carried the huge endangered animal along the sand until it could swim away.

It had become trapped in an estuary and was unable to find its way back to the shoreline.

Joyful beach-goers were shown on film celebrating when the turtle finally made it back into the water.

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Local resident Jendry Rendy Tentero said: ‘We were having fun and celebrating the birthday of a friend when we noticed the turtle. At first we thought it was a crocodile but we were surprised to see it was a giant turtle.’

The animal was not injured and the incident was reported to local wildlife officers.

A wildlife officer said: ‘The turtle might have been pushed by the current to the estuary. It was then lost in the shallows and was stranded while finding its way back to the sea.’

Leatherback sea turtles are the largest of all living turtles. They are listed as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to its decreasing population caused by extensive egg collecting and accidentally being caught in fishing gears.

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