The Department of Conservation is urging Northlanders who find sea turtles washed up on the beach to call its 24-hour hotline straight away.

In the past week two endangered green turtles have been found on Far North beaches, most recently on Tuesday at Henderson Bay, on the east coast 50km north of Kaitaia.

DoC spokeswoman Abigail Monteith said the tropical creatures were occasionally seen in New Zealand waters but they only came ashore if something was wrong.

Beached turtles often needed help and should not be returned to the water, she said.


Finders should instead call the DoC hotline, 0800 DOC HOT, and stay with the turtle or, if that wasn't possible, carefully take it with them and arrange for it to be collected by a DoC ranger.

Turtles did not have to be kept wet but should be kept at room temperature and out of the wind.

One of the two green turtles had since died, Monteith said. It would be examined to establish the cause of death.

Sick turtles were usually flown to Auckland for emergency care at Auckland Zoo before undergoing rehabilitation at Kelly Tarlton's and eventually being returned to the ocean.