National Aquarium Caring for 25 Cold-Stunned Sea Turtles

The National Aquarium's Animal Rescue program is caring for a mix of green and Kemp's ridley sea turtles

The National Aquarium's Animal Health and Rescue teams are busy caring for 25 cold-stunned sea turtles that were rescued from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, this November. This rescue season, Aquarium staff have nicknamed the sea turtles after popular beach destinations across the globe.

The 13 Kemp's ridley and 12 green sea turtles first spent time stabilizing at the New England Aquarium's Animal Care Center with the help of National Aquarium Response and Rehabilitation team members before being transferred to National Aquarium for long-term rehabilitation. Upon their arrival in Baltimore, the turtles received preliminary exams from the Aquarium's Animal Health team. Many of the turtles are recovering from ailments commonly associated with cold-stunning, including pneumonia, dehydration, emaciation, shell and skin lesions, frostbite, eye lesions and infections. As their rehabilitation continues, the Animal Health and Rescue teams will provide dedicated care to each patient, working together toward the greater goal of returning these endangered animals back to their natural habitat.

Each of the 25 animals receives a number and corresponding name to track their individual care and progress toward release. As is tradition, the Aquarium chose a naming theme for this rescue season and what better way to get through the chilly winter than with a reminder of something warm-beach destinations! The green sea turtle names include Siesta, La Jolla and Carmen, while the Kemp's ridley sea turtles have names such as Dewey, Waikiki and Juno.

In addition to preparing these newly-named turtles for release in the coming months, the Animal Rescue team is providing long-term rehabilitation to a loggerhead sea turtle, nicknamed Glockenspiel, that was rescued in August. Glockenspiel is being treated for pneumonia and is being encouraged to learn natural foraging. The Animal Rescue team continues to remain on-call to provide care to stranded marine mammals throughout Maryland year-round.

Since 1991, National Aquarium Animal Rescue has rehabilitated and released 363 animals, including 300 endangered sea turtles. The National Aquarium's Animal Rescue program is responsible for responding to stranded marine mammals and sea turtles along the nearly 3,190 miles of Maryland coast and works with stranding partners throughout the Greater Atlantic Regional Stranding Network to help respond, rescue and release animals year-round.

If you or someone you know finds a cold-stunned sea turtle or marine mammal in distress along the shoreline, the best thing you can do is give it space and immediately contact a trained wildlife first responder. The National Aquarium's Animal Rescue team is on call 24/7 to respond to injured marine life and can be reached on the Stranding Hotline at 410-576-3880.

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