OKALOOSA ISLAND, Fla. (WKRG) — Staff with the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center announced seven of the cold-stunned Kemp’s ridley sea turtles undergoing treatment have been released off the East Coast of Florida.

The Gulafrium received 16 cold-stunned turtles from Cape Cod in December of 2021. The C.A.R.E. center said 7 were released and 8 more remain at the facility for treatment.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee (FWC) took lead on the turtle release. No date has been set for a second release.

The C.A.R.E. center offers a look at the sea turtles undergoing treatment for all guests at the Gularium Marine Adventure park as well as behind-the-scenes tours. Find out more about tickets and events here.

What does cold-stunned mean?

“Being cold-stunned means that they’re in a body of water that dropped rapidly below 50 degrees,” said Tabitha Siegfried, Gulfarium C.A.R.E. center stranding coordinator. “So basically their body temperature reflects what their environmental temperature is, so they became extremely cold. Their blood circulation decreased and they kind of become very lethargic, just sitting at the surface.”

How to help:

The Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center has taken in cold-stunned sea turtles before, you can help them with resources they need on an Amazon wishlist.

“We update that we try to update that weekly to accommodate what supplies we need as we’re going through them to take care of these turtles,” said Siegfried.

You can donate to the center directly by clicking here.

Sea turtle nesting season approaches:

With sea turtle nesting season starting May 1, the center wants to remind visitors and locals about stranded turtles and how to help.

“If a fisherman accidentally hooks a sea turtle, remember don’t cut that line and call FWC as soon as possible,” said Siegfried.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) can be reached by #FWC or *FWC.