Lewis the Hawksbill Turtle

It was a Saturday morning in the Fall of 2012 and I asked our neighbors down at Port Aransas, Gene and Virginia, if they would like to go with me to the Padre Island National Seashore. We had talked before about going to the two areas they call Little Shell Beach and Big Shell Beach.

We drove about 22 miles south of the visitor center before we decided to turn around. The going got too rough to chance continuing any further.

On the way back we saw a huge Turtle on the beach not very far out of the water. It looked very old and completely encrusted with barnacles. We could tell he was alive but didn’t appear to be in very good shape.

When we got to the gate going out of the park we reported that we’d seen a big turtle and the approximate location.

We regretted not getting a picture of it, but just didn’t think about it at the time. That evening while watching the news I was surprised to see this report.

(This video link is cantankerous, but hopefully it will work)

My friends that were with me that day knew the old fellow that operated the Rehabilitation Facility, The ARK, where the Hawksbill was taken.

When they contacted him and told him the story of us finding the Hawksbill, they were allowed to name him. I was honored to know they named him Lewis, after me.

We made a visit there a few months to visit Lewis. He looked much better after being paid some loving care.

At that time they were still unsure if he would survive. We soon moved on and I mostly forgot about Lewis.

A later inquiry with the ARK people said they thought that he had died.

Below is the Story of the ARK and Tony Amos


A fitting end to the the man that did so much for the wildlife along that part of the coast.


We never found out for sure what happened with Lewis The Turtle, but we think he eventually pass away.

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