Climate Extremes: 270 Sea Turtles stunned by the cold wash ashore in Florida (January 7, 2010)
CLEARWATER, Florida - Clearwater Marine Aquarium staff rescued a Loggerhead from North Clearwater Beach on Friday, Jan. 8. The adult female is thought to have "cold stun." With additional cold weather ahead, there could be more sea turtles in Pinellas County that wash up as a result of this condition, according to the CMA. "Cold stun" happens when the temperature of the water drops below their normal body temperature. Their metabolic rate drops and they stop swimming and eating, and end up floating. Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) delivered eight sea turtles to CMA on Thursday. The turtles all came from Mosquito Lagoon and have been given fruit and herb-themed names, including papaya, pina, kiwi, mango, guava, huckleberry, parsley and cayenne. According to FWC, over the past two days, 270 sea turtles have washed ashore in Florida due to "cold stun." CMA is expected to receive six more critical sea turtles on Friday afternoon. The rehabilitation process for threatened and endangered species is expensive and CMA relies on public support to fulfill its mission. Any help from the public is much appreciated.
CMA is a working animal hospital dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of marine animals. –Tampa Bay Newspapers