New England Aquarium Taking In Hypothermic Sea Turtles From Cape Cod
BOSTON (CBS) – As if the snow wasn’t enough of a reminder that winter is on its way, there is another sign at the New England Aquarium.
It is the beginning of sea turtle stranding season on Cape Cod and the aquarium has already taken in six hypothermic turtles.
The wave activity from Wednesday and Thursday’s storm was helpful in washing ashore sea turtles that are just floating due to low body temperatures, the aquarium said.
The turtles are taken into the New England Aquarium’s Animal Care Center in Quincy and rewarmed about five degrees per day.
When some of the turtles were found in Dennis and Brewster, their body temperatures were around 55.7 degrees. Even though turtles are cold-blooded, the normal temperature for a sea turtle is in the 70′s.
The Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles are the most endangered sea turtle in the world and each summer hundreds of them migrate to the Cape to feed on crabs.
The aquarium says that each Autumn, anywhere from 25 to 200 of these sea turtles fail to migrate back south due to the difficulty of navigating out of Cape Cod Bay, which has land on three sides except to the north.