Hundreds of Turtles Rescued From Cold Waters

Has there ever been a sea turtle that looked more happy?

A member of the Coast Guard holds a juvenile turtle.
A member of the Coast Guard holds a juvenile turtle. Photo by  U.S. Coast Guard Mid-Atlantic via Facebook.

Hundreds of sea turtles found themselves in a lot of trouble off the coast of North Carolina yesterday. The turtles typically prefer water that is about 70 degrees, but a sharp dip in temperature landed them in 50 degree water.

This is when the turtles became cold stunned, which is similar to hypothermia. When turtles are cold stunned, they can no longer swim and just float along with the current. Some of the turtles will be deposited to shore, but other may find themselves prime to be eaten by predators or just die from the colder temperatures.

sea turtles

According to the U.S. Coast Guard Mid Atlantic, they were able to rescue 217 turtles from several different species including Loggerhead sea turtles, Green sea turtles and Kemps Ridley sea turtles.

The turtles in need were transported to several local aquariums, including Pine Knoll Shores, which took in 50 turtles. There they will be nursed back to health in warm water and medicine if it is needed. Fortunately, many at this facility have already recovered.

Overall, rescuers in the area were able to save more than 600 turtles in two days.