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Gulf World Marine Institute cares for more cold-stunned turtles

Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 8:37 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG) - After two flights arrived from New England carrying cold-stunned turtles, Gulf World Marine Institute is now caring for 36 in total.

The juvenile Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles were all found in Massachusetts, and were transported to the warmer waters of the Gulf of Mexico where they will receive treatment until they can be released. Fortunately, this particular species of turtle feels right at home here.

“We don’t have to fly them back up to New England to release them, because if we did they would just get cold-stunned again depending on the time of year anyway,” said Lauren Albrittain, Stranding Coordinator for Gulf World Marine Institute. “Thankfully for Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles, they are a Gulf of Mexico species primarily anyway.”

The process of rehabilitation after a cold stun can last from weeks to months depending on the needs of the animals. The institute has had up to 1,800 turtles at once before, and will continue to work with partner organizations in New England to care for any other cold-stunned turtles as needed.

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