Cold-stunned turtles brought to Fort Fisher aquarium

Cold-stunned turtles brought to Fort Fisher aquarium

FORT FISHER, NC (WECT) - Eight cold-stunned turtles have been brought to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher for care.

The turtles, who arrived Sunday morning, were found cold stunned in Cape Hatteras.

They were transported from the N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island and its Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation Center (STAR Center) with the help of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. The STAR Center received more than 80 turtles in recent days.

The Fort Fisher aquarium's animal care team will monitor the eight turtles for complications due to the cold stunning. Medical treatment also will be administered for several turtles. One of the turtles arrived with a broken shell, which appeared to be in the early stages of healing when it was found.

"When the temperatures dip, humans can bundle up to stay warm. Sea turtles don't have that option," Aquarium Curator Julie Johnson said. "The latest cold snap has our aquarium teams working together to care for and save these animals."

The aquarium also has been caring for two cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtles since early December.

All 10 turtles will be released when they are fully recovered and conditions allow.

Johnson said if you come across a turtle on the beach or in the ocean during this time of year, chances are good that it is cold stunned. If this happens, you should contact the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Sea Turtle Stranding Network at 252-241-7367.

The aquarium is offering a behind-the-scenes tour of the sea turtle rehabilitation efforts at 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 7, for those 8 and older. The cost is $18 for ages 8-12, $20 for ages 13 and older and $9 for N.C. Aquarium Society members. Space is limited.

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