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Dozens of endangered sea turtles rescued from cold New England beaches, flown to Florida

Dozens of endangered sea turtles rescued from cold New England beaches, flown to Florida
Posted at 10:21 AM, Nov 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-30 15:51:29-05

MARATHON, Fla. -- Several dozen endangered sea turtles were flown from New England to Florida and are receiving treatment for something called “cold stunning.”

The young sea turtles became stranded on beaches near Cape Cod, Massachusetts after overexposure to cold water. Being exposed to cold water for too long can result in a hypothermic reaction called “cold stunning,” and can cause turtles to stop eating and swimming.

They were flown to the warmer climate of Florida over the Thanksgiving weekend and are being treated at various aquariums, turtle hospitals and facilities. Some of them may have to stay at the facilities for up to a year for testing and treatment.

About 40 young Kemp Ridley sea turtles were taken to the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida. Another two dozen were taken to other marine centers, including the Florida Aquarium in Tampa.

The rescue was made possible by a group of private pilots called “Turtles Fly Too,” who donated their planes, fuel and time to transport the animals. The turtles traveled in towel-lined banana boxes, according to local media.