Carteret County state aquarium helping nurse cold-stunned turtles back to health

Crystal Coast

PINE KNOLL SHORES, N.C. (WNCT) — Many people love when winter puts a chill in the air. However, lower temperatures can be deadly to some aquatic animals.

There are currently 16 cold-stunned sea turtles now in the hands of the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. Cold stunning happens when temperatures drop, putting the animals through something similar to hypothermia. It can slow their heart rates to dangerous levels and can also cause paralysis or death.

Specialists say the number of cold-stunned sea turtles in their care now is about the same as in other years.

“So it’s cool to watch the process, the faster we can do it, the more turtles we can help,” said Michelle Lamping, aquarist and sea turtle specialists at the aquarium. “It doesn’t always work out that way, we have longer-term cases. We have one from last year that’s still feeling up.”

The aquarium anticipates getting more cold-stunned turtles over the next few months.

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