More than 100 “cold-stunned” sea turtles rescued in North Carolina

Written by on January 23, 2020 in Critter MIA, Rare Critters - No comments

First it was Florida’s falling iguanas, now North Carolina has stunned turtles — all shocked by the cold in the U.S. south.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore is counting dozens upon dozens of “cold-stunned” sea turtles washing ashore.

But the turtles had some guardian angels who came to the rescue.

About 95 green and Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles first washed up on Tuesday.

Then another 10.

They were found around Hatteras Island and the Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore) property. The majority coming to ground from Buxton to Hatteras, according to the agency.

One of the cold-stunned sea turtles rescued in North Carolina. Cape Hatteras National Seashore/Facebook

“All of the sea turtles were successfully transported to the STAR Center at the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island for rehabilitation, and many are expected to be released by the end of this week,” the national parks service said.

 

Sea turtles are cold-blooded.

The reptiles depend on the temperature of their environment to keep their body temperature.

So, when the mercury drops dramatically, they can suffer from cold stunning, which is a kind of hypothermia, according to biologists.

The turtles should be just fine. Cape Hatteras National Seashore/Facebook

And temperature lower than 50F and this can happen.

This week, the temperature has hovered between the 30s and 40s, or in Celsius, just around zero.

But it didn’t end there.

More turtles — close to 20 green and Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles — were saved the next day.

And searches will carry on today for others.

“So many patients have come in due to cold stunning that the aquarium has to use the bathrooms and other rooms to help warm up these turtles slowly!” according to one of the rehab groups involved, N.E.S.T. (Network for Endangered Sea Turtles).

Experts slowly warm up the patients.

Proof it really does take a village to help animals in distress.

Photos Cape Hatteras National Seashore/Facebook/Twitter

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About the Author

Dawn Walton

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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