Did Flip, a Kemp’s Ridley turtle from Texas found stranded on a beach in The Hague, have business with the International Criminal Court? What else would she have been doing in the Netherlands?
Her trip to the court, or wherever it is she was going, was thwarted however, when a man walking his dog on the beach last December stumbled across the cold-stunned turtle, the Houston Chronicle‘s Harvey Rice reported. It is extremely rare for a Kemp’s ridley to be found so far east:
How Flip made it across the Atlantic, past Ireland and the British Isles and into the North Sea is a mystery, but Shaver ventured a guess.
Until they are about 2 years old, Kemp’s ridleys remain in the deep ocean among clumps of floating seaweed and ride the ocean currents. Most Kemp’s ridleys never leave the Gulf of Mexico, but a few make it into the Atlantic and travel as far north as Massachusetts in the summer, Shaver said. A few of those ride the circular Atlantic currents before returning to the Gulf of Mexico.
Shaver said it’s likely that Flip blundered into a current that pulled her in the wrong direction or that she swam in the wrong direction.
Flip has spent the last year recuperating and putting on weight at Sea Life Scheveningen.
Last week, Flip was loaded into the baggage hold of a KLM plane in Amsterdam and made the trip across the Atlantic to Houston. Flip is slated to be released into the Gulf of Mexico from Padre Island National Seashore at 9 a.m. Friday. The event will take place in front of the Malaquite Beach Pavilion and park entrance fees will be waived for attendees.
Watch these Dutch videos of Flip: