USA TODAY US Edition

Log­ger­head tur­tles res­cued from cold in Mass.

- Mary Ann Bragg Animals · Ecology · Wildlife · Massachusetts · Cape Cod · National Audubon Society · California Department of Transportation · New England Aquarium · England · Iceland · Truro, MA · Wellfleet, MA

TRURO, Mass. – A large log­ger­head tur­tle that washed ashore Fri­day was among more than 150 cold-stunned sea tur­tles to strand on Cape Cod beaches in a three-day span, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from the Mas­sachusetts Audubon So­ci­ety's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanc­tu­ary.

The log­ger­head, an adult male that weighed 350 pounds, was moved from Great Hol­low Beach by Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works staff and brought to the sanc­tu­ary in South Wellfleet. It was driven to New Eng­land Aquar­ium’s An­i­mal Care Cen­ter.

The weight of the log­ger­head out­stripped that of an adult fe­male found two years ago at Great Is­land in Wellfleet – and named "Munchkin" by the team that cared for her. Munchkin went through re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion at New Eng­land Aquar­ium and was re­leased back into the wa­ter last year.

“It’s pretty rare for an adult sea tur­tle to strand in the fall,” the sanc­tu­ary's sea tur­tle strand­ing co­or­di­na­tor, Karen Dour­dev­ille, said in the state­ment. “The vast ma­jor­ity of tur­tles that be­come cold-stunned here are ju­ve­nile sea tur­tles or sub-adults.”

Sea tur­tle strand­ings in the fall, an an­nual event on Cape Cod, oc­cur when the tur­tles are un­able to nav­i­gate out of Cape Cod Bay to swim to warmer wa­ters. When the bay wa­ter tem­per­a­tures drop, the tur­tles be­come im­mo­bile and can wash ashore. Most of the tur­tles that be­come cold-stunned are young Kemp’s ri­d­ley sea tur­tles. Log­ger­heads, , do not typ­i­cally suc­cumb to the cold un­til De­cem­ber.

Fri­day, Truro of­fi­cials re­sponded quickly to the re­quest for help with the stranded log­ger­head, Dour­dev­ille said. When a 350-pound tur­tle strands and needs to be res­cued, more than the usual amount of help is needed, she said.

“We re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the town’s will­ing­ness to re­spond to our re­quest for help and to han­dle the rescue so ef­fi­ciently," Dour­dev­ille said.

 ?? WELLFLEET BAY WILDLIFE SANC­TU­ARY ?? Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works em­ploy­ees move a 350-pound log­ger­head tur­tle from Great Hol­low Beach in Truro, Mass.
WELLFLEET BAY WILDLIFE SANC­TU­ARY Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works em­ploy­ees move a 350-pound log­ger­head tur­tle from Great Hol­low Beach in Truro, Mass.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA