A giant Loggerhead sea turtle who washed up on a beach in Scotland during the annual Cyclocross Championships has died.
The creature named Harvey was taken to Oban’s Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary after he was found on the shore at North Ayrshire in mid-November.
The organisation posted on Facebook last month:
“Unfortunately we have some sad news today. We discovered today that Harley the Loggerhead had died overnight.
“Harley’s condition was critical when he arrived at the Sanctuary. His body temperature had plummeted from the normal 23 degrees to 10 degrees, and a veterinary check confirmed he was hypothermic and badly dehydrated. He was given vital fluids intravenously and staff had begun very gradually raising Harley’s temperature, by just a degree each day, so as not to send him into shock.
“Initial signs were encouraging and we were hopeful Harley would eventually make a full recovery. However we don’t know how long Harley had lain unnoticed on a very quiet stretch of the beach at Irvine, and he may have been there for days. It’s quite feasible that help just didn't arrive soon enough.
“We would like to use this opportunity to appeal to members of the public to be on the alert in case there are other stranded turtles, and to contact the Sanctuary immediately should any be found.”
The distressed turtle was blocking the route at the Scottish Cyclocross Championships race in November, which was delayed until the rescuers could be summoned.
Initial plans to fly Harvey to Gran Canaria and release him following his recovery had to be abandoned.
Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer Danielle Higgins told the BBC: "We do see these turtles off the coast of Scotland on the odd occasion but never usually at this time of year.
"This turtle should have been on his way to Spain where it's warmer but I think he may have stayed here due to the milder weather.
"However, Storm Desmond has caught him out and brought him inland."
Ms Higgins thanked a volunteer from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, members of the public and local bike race stewards who helped move the turtle off the beach.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.