INTRO – Sea turtles which had enjoyed temporary housing at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores have been returned to the Atlantic Ocean. George Olsen has more.
Twenty-one sea turtles had been under the Aquarium’s care after being found cold-stunned off Cape Lookout last month. Cold-stunning in turtles occurs when water temps dip below 50. It is similar to hypothermia in humans, leaving the turtle’s listless with a decreased heart rate that can lead to death. The turtles quickly responded to medical treatment and available food and were returned to the Atlantic last Friday. To get them away from the chilly waters along the coastline the turtles were transported 50 miles offshore to the warm waters of the Gulf Stream by the U-S Coast Guard. Most of the turtles released were young green turtles plus two Kemp’s Ridleys. One of the larger green turtles was outfitted with a satellite transmitter so its movements can be tracked.