NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Endangered cold-stunned seas turtles were rescued from the New England coast and rehabilitated in the New Orleans area.
Twenty-one rehabilitated sea turtles stranded last month off the New England coast were released into the Gulf of by Audubon Nature Institute, working at the direction of NOAA and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
The 21 Kemp's ridleys, the most endangered of the sea turtle species, were part of a massive cold-stunning event along the New England coast. Typically, sea turtles migrate to warmer waters in the fall but if they don't make the migration before coastal water temperatures drop, they can suffer from hypothermia, also known as cold-stunning.
Symptoms of cold-stunning can include decreased heart and respiration rates, decreased circulation and lethargy. All can be followed by shock and pneumonia, according to the zoo
More than 1,200 endangered juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtles have washed ashore on Cape Cod this winter. New England Aquarium, located in Boston, has admitted hundreds of cold-stunned sea turtles found along the Massachusetts coastline and because the influx of new patients has inundated the New England Aquarium, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reached out to other facilities for assistance.
The Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program responded to the call and successfully rehabilitated and released twenty-one sea turtles near the Chandeleur Islands in the Gulf of Mexico. Five are remaining at the Audubon Aquatic Center for further treatment.
If you encounter an injured or stranded marine mammal or sea turtle, please call LMMSTRP at (504) 235-3005.