A leatherback turtle has washed up near the Tashmoo Channel, a victim of a vessel strike, according to Karen Moore Dourdeville, a Mass Audubon turtle researcher. The leatherback was a mature female with a research tag on it. It has been marked with orange paint to indicate it has been examined.
This is the fourth known leatherback turtle to wash up dead on the Vineyard since August, according to Felix Neck Wildlife Refuge director Suzan Bellincampi. A prodigious jellyfish eater, the leatherback turtle is the largest species of sea turtle.