A quarter-tonne leatherback turtle has been examined after it was discovered stranded in Maldon.

A Cetacean Strandings Investigation team live-tweeted the examination of the turtle that was found in Mundon Creek.

Researchers said the turtle's condition indicated that it was stranded alive.

They said: "Our turtle today is a male and has no sign of entanglement.

"Samples of fat and muscle are being taken from the leatherback for analysis via toxicology.

"The team have examined the leatherback turtles heart and found no lesions.

"Examination of the intestine has revealed that our leatherback had ingested some debris - as is common among leatherbacks.

"There is right-sided haemostasis of the lungs, indicative of live stranding - this is consistent with the position of the turtle in the creek, as it would have had to swim to reach that position rather than drift there.

"In summary, this leatherback was an adult male in negative nutritional condition- with evidence of live stranding, possible urinary tract infection, and minor debris burden in the intestinal tract. "Follow up tests pending."