Dozens of ‘cold stunned’ endangered sea turtles flown from New England to Florida for treatment

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, several dozen endangered sea turtles were flown from New England to Florida in search of warmer weather and water.

When they reached their final destination they were treated for “cold-stunning”.

Typically, at the end of November the water in the Northeast becomes too cold for the sea creatures and being cold-blooded animals they are unable to regulate their body temperate.

The sea turtles are often found washed ashore and incapacitated due to the cold water. Turtles that are cold stunned are given a chance to warm up and then kept out of the water for up to several days before being released back into the water.

The Kemp Ridley sea turtles that were discovered to have been cold stunned transported to various aquariums and rescue centers around Florida.

“Hundreds of turtles are washing up on the beach,” Turtle Hospital manager Bette Zirkelbach told Keys Weekly. “More than the capacity that the aquariums up there can take care of, so they are being flown to the Turtle Hospital to warm up and have care for these critical animals.”

Forty turtles arrived at a hospital in the Florida Keys via a group of private pilots with Turtles Fly Too for treatment.

All of the turtles have undergone tests to see if they have additional ailments and those that do will continue to receive treatment. Those that are more critically ill will stay at the hospital anywhere from 30 days to a year.

“Once we warm them up, they’re going to go to another part of Florida to be returned to the ocean and that’s our goal with these 40 turtles. We’re hoping, flippers crossed, that they all go back to sea,” Zirkelbach said.

The Florida Aquarium received six cold stunned turtles, while 30 ventured to New Orleans for treatment.

Thank you to everyone involved in this massive effort to help these turtles!

My wish is that they’re all safe and healthy in the warm waters of Florida.

Share this to thank everyone involved in this rescue effort.