When turtles become cold-stunned, they are too cold to swim and float on the surface, where they can become dehydrated.
The bomb cyclone that is wreaking havoc across much of the East Coast, and caused iguanas to fall from their perches in the Sunshine State, has also brought cold weather to Texas, where National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) workers rescued 50 cold-stunned sea turtles off of Galveston earlier this week, with 200 more expected to be brought to NOAA’s Galveston lab today, where the reptiles will be rehabilitated, weighed, measured and eventually released.
Some experts believe that the cold weather event may be the largest such event in Texas history, according to CBS 10 News.
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When turtles become cold-stunned, they are too cold to swim and just float on the surface, where they can become dehydrated. The NOAA lab will make sure that they are warmed up and when the weather permits, released back into the ocean.
In Florida, about 100 cold-stunned sea turtles were rescued in the northwest part of the state.
“Just like people, you get hypothermic," Lynne Byrd, rehabilitation and medical coordinator for Mote Marine Lab, where the turtles were brought, told CBS 10 News. "These animals are reptiles; they’re dependent on their environment. When the water starts getting colder, they can’t compensate. They get slower and slower.”
Down in St. Augustine, Fla., St. Augustine Fire Department Operations Chief Chris Pacetti and FWC Officer Bill Miller rescued an injured sea turtle from the cold waters of St. Augustine Municipal Marina. That turtle, in addition to apparently being cold-stunned, had a damaged shell. It was taken to The Sea Turtle Hospital at UF Whitney lab, according to the St. Augustine Fire Department’s Facebook page.
Hopefully this cold weather subsides soon and the reptiles can get back to their normal behaviors.