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Animal Rescue Update: Cold-Stunned Sea Turtles

The 32 cold-stunned rescue sea turtles in the National Aquarium’s care are improving after a few weeks under the watchful eyes of our staff.

Published December 11, 2018

The Aquarium’s first cold-stunned patients of the 2018-19 rescue season—30 Kemp’s ridley and two green sea turtles—were found stranded on the beaches of Cape Cod just before the Thanksgiving holiday. The majority of the patients are eating consistently and showing improvements in their health.

Cold-stunned turtle patient

Every year, the Aquarium chooses a naming theme for our rescue animals, and this year, our rescue turtles are nicknamed after periodic elements!

While most of our patients are recovering from ailments commonly associated with cold-stunning—including dehydration, infection, pneumonia and emaciation—there are some unique cases requiring additional levels of treatment and care.

Cold-stunned turtle patient

One of the two green sea turtles, nicknamed Oxygen, is missing most of his back right fin—yes, similar to Calypso! Despite this, Oxygen and the other green sea turtle, nicknamed Hydrogen, are gaining weight and strength every day.

Cold-stunned turtle patient

Of the 30 Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, there are two patients—one nicknamed Aluminum, the other Helium—that are currently scheduled to receive CT scans so our team can better understand their health needs.

Our team expects some of our current turtle rescue patients to be ready for the first release of the season in mid-January.

Check out this video of our turtle patients and stay tuned for more updates!

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