250 'cold stunned' sea turtles rescued from Florida Panhandle beaches

250 'cold stunned' sea turtles rescued on Florida Panhandle beaches
Posted at 9:37 AM, Jan 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-09 07:58:31-05

(WTXL) - Officials say more than 250 sea turtles have been rescued on beaches of the Florida Panhandle since cold weather began last week.

Every turtle rehab facility in north Florida is overrun with sea turtles, according to a news release from the Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratory. Most turtles were taken from St. Joe Bay to the nearby Gulf World.

But turtles were also dying off St. George Island, Dog Island and Alligator Point, prompting Gulf Specimen Marine Lab, a licensed sea turtle rehab facility, to come to the rescue.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and volunteers transported 47 cold-stunned turtles to the Panacea facility. Most of the turtles are juvenile Green sea turtles and a few Kemp's Ridleys.

Sea turtles are unable to swim when the water temperature drops below 50 degrees F because, as cold-blooded animals, their body temperature is the same as the water.

The turtles are to be released back into the wild once the sea water temperature has risen to a safe level, the news release said.

To help support the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab, click here

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