Five Loggerhead Sea Turtles Rescued

Five Loggerhead Sea Turtles Rescued

Georgia Aquarium Rescues Five Loggerhead Sea Turtles

Rescued February 2010

Georgia Aquarium's Conservation Field Station (GACFS) aided in the timely rescue efforts of a group of stranded loggerhead sea turtles from the coast of North Carolina. As ocean water temperatures dropped below 50 degrees during the previous weeks, thousands of sea turtles became stranded in the Southeast. Turtle rehabilitation and rescue facilities all over Florida and the Carolinas were housing rescued turtles, but reached capacity.

Georgia Aquarium and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center were contacted by overwhelmed facilities to help care for these stranded animals. The GACFS ambulance drove to the North Carolina/South Carolina border where Aquarium veterinary staff members coordinated the transfer of five turtles from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, who also collaborated with sea turtle rehabilitation facilities in North Carolina and Georgia. The animals, which had a medical status of guarded, were transported to the Aquarium’s quarantine and warehouse facility in Atlanta, where staff were ready to treat and monitor the animals in an effort to save them.

The cold snap that swept the Southeast threatened the lives of an estimated 5,000 turtles; 4,500 in Florida alone. The last comparable cold weather sea turtle stranding was in 2001, which affected 400 turtles. Reports of motionless sea turtle sightings poured in by the hundreds during the previous weeks, prompting the attention of local rescue and rehabilitation centers as well as state departments of natural resources.

See pictures from the turtles' arrival at Georgia Aquarium.