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Dramatic Turtle Rescue Lifts Spirits

David Loffredo spent 17 years in Westport. He lives at Fairfield Beach now, but remains an avid “06880” reader.

Yesterday — during the wind and rain — he spotted a large turtle, wounded and in distress.

His wife Megan called around: Earthplace, the Maritime Aquarium, Mystic Aquarium, Fairfield Animal Control, a veterinarian.

Mystic asked Animal Control to take a look. By now it was dark. The officer said it was a loggerhead, probably 10 to 12 years old — the 3rd to wash up there in the past 2 years.

The officer thought she was dead. If so, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection would be back to bury her right there.

At 10 p.m., — with the tide rising — a crew from Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Unit arrived.

They determined the turtle was quite healthy, though perhaps disoriented in the storm.

They took her, and warmed her up. They will put her on a flight to Georgia or South Carolina.

Loffredo knows the turtle team in Charleston. They’ll call Mystic today, and see if they can take the rescued animal.

Sergeant Mike Paris stood watch during the transfer. He spoke with Loffredo about the challenges of this year. A 15-year veteran of the force and the son of a Bridgeport police officer, he’s been in the thick of COVID and the summer of protests.

“2020 has not been great,” Loffredo says. “But in a year that’s taken so much, it’s nice to give something back.”

The loggerhead turtle (background) and her rescuers. (Photos/David Loffredo)


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