(December 7, 2012) Orlando, Fla. – This afternoon, SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Rescue Team received 20 stable Kemp’s ridley sea turtles flown in on a U.S. Coast Guard airplane from the New England Aquarium. A mass stranding of hypothermic sea turtles occurred along the Cape Cod coast last week.
The sea turtles were transported by a Coast Guard airplane to the Orlando International Airport where they were received by SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team and then transported to SeaWorld Orlando to receive further evaluation and round-the-clock care at the park’s rehabilitation facility. 10 of the sea turtles were selected for additional testing.
The mass stranding is attributed to an unseasonably warm November that delayed the sea turtles’ exit from Cape Cod Bay to warmer waters. When the ocean temperatures dropped quickly, the sea turtles developed hypothermia and washed ashore.
Once water temperatures are warm enough, the sea turtles will be returned to their natural habitat.
Distressed sea turtles are often found in Florida waters, too. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission asks those who see stranded, distressed or dead sea turtles to call Wildlife Alert at 1-888-404-3922.
– Press Release from SeaWorld Orlando