Hospital in Marathon Treating Cold-stunned Sea Turtles Rescued from Frigid Waters

Hospital in Marathon Treating Cold-stunned Sea Turtles Rescued from Frigid Waters

The Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida has been treating a group of sea turtles rescued from frigid waters off the Florida coast. Hospital officials are expecting that more cold-stunned turtles may be delivered soon.

According to the hospital, seven green sea turtles are being treated which were found swimming lethargically in -57 degrees water. Staff at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium rescued the turtles, which were found amid some dead ones.

The cold-stunned turtles were taken to the hospital. Some of the animals died after arriving, informed hospital manager Bette Zirkelbach. Out of the rescued ones, four will undergo surgeries. The surgical procedure will be performed to remove tumors caused by fibropapillomatosis, Zirkelbach said.

This is not the first time when doctors at the Marathon’s Turtle Hospital are treating sea turtles. Last year, more than 150 sea turtles were admitted, while 2014 had 93 cases of cold-stunned turtles.

Last month, Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach found eight green sea turtles that in cold-stunned condition, a state of hypothermia. The animals had washed up on North Carolina Shoreline, as per aquarium officials. After one month of care at the Husbandry Team at Ripley’s Aquarium, improvement has been noticed in the turtles’ health.

“During their stay with us here at Ripley’s Aquarium, each turtle has received antibiotics, blood tests, weight measurements and constant observation to ensure their return to normal eating patterns and good health,” said Tim Handsel, Director of Husbandry at Ripley’s Aquarium.

Sean Boyd, by senior aquarist at Ripley’s Aquarium, said turtles are resilient and important creatures of earth’s marine ecosystem. Boyd also urged people to inform officials if they find any sea turtle washed up on a beach. People can call the SC DNR Hotline to provide any information regarding the washed up turtles, Boyd added.


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