Cold-stunned turtles named after ‘Harry Potter’ characters
SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — After record breaking numbers last year, the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center is getting cold stunned turtles early this year.
Hospital Director Jean Beasley said nine turtles arrived in Surf City last night.
“We have these little turtles getting into trouble,” Beasley said.
Whether they are young or old, every turtle that comes to the sea turtle hospital in trouble gets a name from a theme.
This group has a Harry Potter theme.
“We even have a Muggle and a Dumbledore and of Course Harry and Hermione,” Beasley said.
This group of wizards arrived a little earlier than volunteers were expecting.
“They are the early wave of the cold stuns,” Beasley said. “They are the messengers so to speak that say, ‘You better start worrying about the cold weather.'”
Last year, Beasley said they saw 92 cold-stunned turtles. This is the first group of this season.
“Massachusetts is inundated with cold stuns right now,” Beasley said.
What are cold-stuns?
“Turtles that for some reason or another did not get the right cue to migrate out of where the shallow waters can react very quickly to cold temperatures,” Beasley said.
A turtle can experience internal and external symptoms.
“They develop all kinds of problems,” Beasley said.
That is where the volunteers come in to help.
“We are going to be doing radio-graphs on them,” Beasley said.
They will also monitor the turtles for symptoms and, of course, feed them.
“So that by the time they are ready to go home, they will be fat little turtles,” Beasley said.
You can help too as the temperatures continue to drop along the east coast.
“Keep a lookout for little turtles or large turtles that aren’t moving,” Beasley said. “Don’t assume that they are dead, because they may just be cold-stunned.”
Meanwhile, the volunteers here will be waiting to help the next turtle or wizard in trouble.
If you see a turtle, either floating, or washed up on the beach, please call the Sea Turtle Hotline at 252-241-7367.