Florida Aquarium to Return Four Rehabilitated Sea Turtles to Florida's East Coast

Tampa, Fla., - On Wednesday, May 22, 2019, The Florida Aquarium’s Animal Response Team, supported by Florida Blue, will return four green sea turtles into the Atlantic Ocean at Wilbur-By-The-Sea in Volusia County.

The green sea turtles were brought into The Florida Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center in Apollo Beach in early February from Volusia County. These are among the first turtles to be cared for at the facility since it opened in January. All the turtles had suffered cold-stunning and were rescued on the state’s east coast. Cold stunning occurs when ocean water and air temperatures decrease rapidly and for an extended period of time, rendering the reptiles immobile since they are cold-blooded.

Cold-stunned turtles are unable to swim and can develop symptoms, including decreased heart rate, low blood circulation, and pneumonia. If they do not receive treatment, cold-stunned sea turtles can be susceptible to drowning, infections, predation, or boat strikes.

The Florida Aquarium’s Animal Response Staff worked around the clock to monitor the treatment of the sea turtles affected by cold-stunning. They were able to warm the sea turtles to raise their body temperature and provided them with additional medical care.

All care and turtle rehabilitation by The Florida Aquarium is done with the approval of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) under conditions not harmful to marine turtles and authorized under conservation activities pursuant to FWC MTP-19-179.

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