The South Carolina Aquarium is adding 10 cold-stunned sea turtles from the Northeast to its rescue hospital.
The New England Aquarium’s Animal Care Center put out a call for help after receiving 100 new cold-stunned patients since late November.
Ten turtles, including eight Kemp’s ridley and two green sea turtles, are being flown to Charleston from the Boston area today. Davis Air, based in Charleston and owned by Gary Davis, has donated the flight.
The turtles will arrive at Charleston International Airport around 11:30 a.m. today.
Cold stunning occurs when sea turtles are exposed to cold water temperatures for long periods of time and undergo a hypothermic reaction. Symptoms of that reaction include a decreased heart rate, decreased circulation, lethargy, all followed by shock, pneumonia and in the worst case scenarios, death.
Sea turtles are affected by cold stunning because they are cold-blooded reptiles that depend on their environment to regulate their body temperature. Because of that, in cold weather they don’t have the ability to warm themselves and that’s why in the winter sea turtles migrate to warmer waters typically around the end of October.
The aquarium is accepting donations to help sea turtles recover at the aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital. Go to www.scaquarium.org for more information. To track the progress of patients currently being care at the hospital, go to https://seaturtlehospital.blogspot.com/ Behind-the-scenes tours are also offered at the aquarium.
Read more in Thursday’s editions of The Post and Courier.