The Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island is keeping cold-stunned turtles warm for the winter. Several sea turtles are having a hard time in the frigid coastal waters. They are being taken to the Center to recover.
Terry Norton with the Georgia Sea Turtle Center says the winter can be a dangerous time of year.
“A sea turtle will be the temperature of what the ocean is and if there is a sudden drop in temperature which can occur with cold weather especially in shallow areas, a sea turtle can become comatose if it goes lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit Then they basically float to the surface and then they will either sit there and float or eventually they’ll strand on land and that’s what cold stunning is.”
Norton says veterinarians slowly raise the sea turtles’ body temperature and give them fluids and antibiotics. Most turtles are kept at least until spring when the water is warmer
Right now, there are about 35 turtles at the Center from across the southeast and as far north as Cape Cod.