SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — More than a dozen cold-stunned sea turtles were rescued from the northeast United States Friday, according to the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, who took in the sea turtles for rehabilitation.
Because the sea turtles are cold-blooded, they need the warmth from the water to regulate their temperature. When the water is too cold, the sea turtles can become lethargic, putting them at risk of predators and boat strikes.
That’s why 16 juvenile Kemp’s ridley sea turtles were transported to a Mote animal hospital after they were found cold-stunned in the northeast U.S.
The Kemp’s ridleys are also one of the most endangered species of sea turtle, so their well-being is more important than ever.
In a Facebook post, Mote said, “Sea turtles typically travel south for the winter but sometimes they get stuck up north.”
So far, over 500 sea turtles have been stranded due to cold-stunning this winter alone, Mote said.
Once the sea turtles arrived at the Mote Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital, they were measured, weighed and given special nicknames. You can follow each sea turtle’s progress online at Mote.org/hospital.