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San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge has a residential group of approximately 60 protected Eastern Pacific Green Sea Turtles. No one knows how they got here, but it is assumed they were caught many decades ago in Mexico, brought to the bay alive, and escaped from fishing pens, prior to being slaughtered. They settled successfully in the bay due to waters that are artificially warmed by nearby industry.
This is the only area on the west coast of the US where green sea turtles are known to congregate and thrive.
These turtles are an endangered species due to habitat destruction, illegal poaching, inadvertent fish netting, boat strikes, and plastic ingestion.
San Diego Bay Wildlife Refuge is one of the few safe sanctuaries for these peaceful and VERY large turtles. The largest turtle ever measured here weighed 530 lbs, which is the largest known green turtle in the Eastern Pacific.
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