The Washington Post
Aquarium rescues sea turtles stranded in Massachusetts
Sea turtle strandings on Cape Cod are increasing after a slow start to the season, experts at the New England Aquarium said Monday.
The aquarium has so far cared for almost 120 of the animals at its Quincy, Massachusetts, turtle hospital. The vast majority have been endangered Kemp’s ridley turtles. But scientists have also treated eight green turtles and two loggerheads.
The turtles are treated for lifethreatening conditions, including pneumonia and dehydration, a result of days or weeks of hypothermia (dangerously low body temperature) and the inability to feed.
The turtles get trapped in Cape Cod Bay as temperatures drop and wind patterns change, and they quickly become hypothermic. The stranding season started later this year because water in the bay was warmer than usual.
The turtles are assessed and treated in Massachusetts, a process that can take weeks or months, before they are transferred to Southern states for rehabilitation and eventual release into an ocean.