mystic aquarium

Six Endangered Sea Turtles in Rehabilitation at Mystic Aquarium

NBC Universal, Inc.

There are some sea turtles temporarily checked in at the Mystic Aquarium that were found almost lifeless in the wild because they were cold- stunned.

Thanks to being rescued, six turtles are now in rehabilitation.

Sea turtles are at risk of being cold-stunned during the months of October to December. When a cold front hits the east coast, sea turtles can go into a hypothermic state.

Mystic Aquarium works with other organizations to transport some of these stranded turtles for rehab. Right now, they have four kemps of ridley turtles, which are a critically endangered species, and two loggerhead sea turtles.

The animal rescue program manager said a turtle could experience after-effects two to three weeks after being cold-stunned. However, these turtles seem to be recuperating well.

"We had a loggerhead sea turtle that essentially was frostbitten on its lippers. And so, we saw some necrosis of that tissue. In the following weeks, that animal also suffered from pretty severe pneumonia. So once some of that pneumonia cleared, and we felt like that animal would survive going under anesthesia for surgery, we were able to conduct a surgery to amputate part of the front flippers, which we just successfully did. The animal is recovering very well," Sarah Callan, Mystic Aquarium's animal rescue program manager said.

Volunteers and staff are giving that turtle a lot of love, and once they're treated and go through a final checkup, these beautiful turtles will be sent back into the wild.

"Because it's still cold and our water temperature is very cold, we're actually going to be flying the sea turtles down to warmer, beautiful sunny weather down south where they will get release," Callan said.

Callan said that in New England, sea turtles face many threats, such as getting entangled in plastic or injured by boats.

So, we should always be on the lookout in case one of these gorgeous animals needs our help.

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