The New England Aquarium has taken in over 200 hypothermic or cold-stunned sea turtles which have washed up on Massachusetts shores this “stranding season,” Aquarium officers mentioned.
“This sea turtle stranding season has gotten off to a later start than the past few years,” mentioned Aquarium Director of Rescue and Rehabilitation Adam Kennedy. “Whether it is 1 or 100 turtles in a given day, our team at the New England Aquarium is ready to help give these turtles the best shot of being returned home.”
Turtles started to strand on Cape Cod in early November, and to date this yr, Aquarium staffers have handled 189 critically endangered Kemp’s ridley turtles, 19 inexperienced turtles, and 6 loggerheads. Numbers are “ramping up,” Kennedy mentioned, with 134 taken in within the final 5 days.
Stranding season happens yearly from fall to early winter as many sea turtles fail to flee Cape Cod Bay earlier than changing into hypothermic attributable to falling temperatures and wind patterns. Staff and volunteers from the Massachusetts Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary stroll alongside the seashores yearly to rescue and deal with these turtles.
The Aquarium famous 5 of the turtles unusually washed up in Hull and Hingham this yr, probably indicating sea turtles within the Bay are spreading out.
Many of the turtles undergo dehydration, pneumonia and accidents like fractures of their shells, the Aquarium mentioned. The Aquarium works in partnership with the NOAA Fisheries Service, non-profit group Turtles Fly Too and others to deal with all of the animals.
The turtles could also be handled for weeks to over a yr earlier than being launched again into the ocean, the Aquarium mentioned.