Almost 200 sea turtles stunned by cold water temperatures have been brought to Florida from the northern U.S.
Sea turtles, animals that have cold blood, swim to warmer waters in the south before winter comes. Sometimes, though, the turtles get trapped in coastlines because of strong currents of the waters. It is here that most of the sea turtles stunned by cold water wind up. Cold stunning is when hypothermia happens because of exposure to severe cold weathers. If the sea turtles are not treated then the animals can suffer pneumonia, shock, heart problems or they can even die.
Many sea turtles are lost every year because they are stunned by cold, despite efforts from numerous authorities. However, the number of the animals has been so large this year that even the animal rescuers were shocked.
Spokesman for the New England Aquarium’s marine-animal hospital in Quincy, Massachusetts, Tony LaCasse said:
“Statistically, I feel like we are out on Pluto as the number seems to have quadrupled. We’ve been rescuing sea turtles for 25 years, and we are just absolutely shocked.”
The turtles were transported to Orlando with help from the coastguard in Florida. In Orlando, more than two dozens of government officials, drivers, biologists and veterinarians were made available to take care of the sick animals under the coordination by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The sea turtles were spread across 7 aquariums, with the majority of 72 animals being delivered to Sea World.
The experts said it is crucially important to take care of the sea turtles as their species is less in number.
Director of husbandry for the Aquarium, Mike Terrell said:
“They’re the most critically endangered sea turtle in the world. They have a place in the ecosystem — just consider them the canary in the coal mine. They are an indicator species of the overall health of an ecosystem. When you start to see, fewer and fewer sea turtles then that’s an indication that there could be problems with the local ecosystem.”
Once the animals will be treated, the authorities will release the majority of sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico, their water of birth. Over 90 percent of nesting happens across the beaches in Tamaulipas, Mexico.