FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — The Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center took in eight cold-stunned Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles from Cape Cod Mass. this month.
Sea Turtle stranding coordinated Tabitha Siegfried explained the ‘Cold-Stunned’ phenomenon to WKRG News 5 earlier this year.
“Being cold-stunned means that they’re in a body of water that dropped rapidly below 50 degrees,” said Siegfried. “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.”
C.A.R.E. Center staff posted that cold-stunned turtles are becoming a more frequent sight in the animal rehabilitation world.
“Cold stunning happens every year with seemingly increasing numbers. Luckily for these turtles, volunteers in the Massachusetts area are always on the lookout. Facilities such as New England Aquarium see upwards of 500 or more stranded sea turtles during the winter months.”Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center
Non-profit Turtles Fly Too brought the animals down south to the Okaloosa Island location. The turtles will undergo treatment before being released in the Gulf of Mexico in the coming months.
In other turtle news, the C.A.R.E. Center recently rescued a foul-hooked turtle off the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier. Staff removed external hooks from the 80-pound sub-adult loggerhead, affectionately named Squash but x-rays revealed a hook is also inside Squash’s stomach.
All of the mentioned turtles are on display while undergoing rehabilitation efforts at the Gulfarium marine adventure park. A daily admission ticket is required.
Find more turtle news below: