Rachel Overmeyer of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island explains to GPB News' Orlando Montoya what happens when a sea turtle is cold stunned and what is done to treat the injury.

Two people stand in a body of water with sea turtles in their hands, about to release them into the water.

Staff of the Jekyll Island Sea Turtle Center releases endangered sea turtles in January that were treated by the center after being stranded in the Christmas weekend cold snap of 2022.

Credit: Georgia Sea Turtle Center / Jekyll Island Authority

Animal rehabilitation specialists are still caring for a pair of endangered green sea turtles that washed ashore along Georgia's beaches during the cold snap a few weeks ago.

Rachel Overmeyer of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island said while four recently cold-stunned sea turtles have been treated and released, two remain in critical condition at the center.

This was the first time in about 10 years that the center took in cold-stunned sea turtles from Georgia waters, she said.

"The temperature of the water is the temperature of their body," Overmeyer said. "So when their bodies shut down, they don't eat, they don't do anything. They float to the surface and that's when they usually strand."

Cold-stunning generally occurs when water temperatures drop below 50 degrees and can be fatal for sea turtles.

The Georgia center usually treats sea turtles that have been hit by boats, caught on fishing hooks or are otherwise sick or injured.