FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Officials say more than 850 “cold stunned” sea turtles have been brought to a Florida facility since a cold snap began last week.
Gulf World Marine Institute spokeswoman Sam Tuno told the Northwest Florida Daily News that it’s the second largest cold-stunning event in the Florida Panhandle since 2010, when approximately 1,800 sea turtles were rehabilitated.
Sea turtles’ bodies can go into shock when the waters get below 50 degrees in shallow bays and estuaries.
Tuno says they’re expecting to lose up to 10 percent of the turtles, but the majority of them will be fine. The Kemp’s Ridley, Green and Loggerhead sea turtles will be released as soon as the water warms up.
Officials are monitoring a second cold snap expected later this week that could send more turtles their way.