Triage for a cold-stunned turtle

By on February 1, 2021

On Jan. 24, Sherry, a retired schoolteacher from upstate New York, spotted a Kemp’s Ridley turtle struggling in the Pamlico Sound near their rental cottage. She notified her neighbor, Stu, that the turtle was in distress. Stu was able to net the turtle, which was later determined to be cold-stunned, and then warm it in the sun until volunteers from the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (N.E.S.T.) were able to respond.

Kemp’s Ridley turtles are the smallest and most endangered species of sea turtles and this turtle was taken by N.E.S.T. volunteers to the N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island to recover. When water temperatures drop below 50 degrees in the winter, sea turtles can become cold stunned, a condition in which their heart rate and circulation drops and can lead to lethargy, shock and other life-threatening conditions.

Sherry’s husband Terry told the Voice that his wife is passionate about wildlife and hopes that their story will raise not only raise awareness about sea turtles but encourage others to keep an eye out for wildlife that may need assistance.




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