Rapid drop in temperatures stuns hundreds of turtles off NC

SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — The sharp drop in temperatures this week after unusually warm weather has stunned hundreds of turtles along the North Carolina coast.

A Wildlife Resources spokesman said they have rescue almost 500 turtles off the North Carolina Coast this week.

“It was just so warm for so long and then all of a sudden it dropped drastically,” Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue Volunteer Judy Niemeyer said.

A rapid drop in temperatures can cause water temperatures in shallow water to drop quickly, stunning turtles and causing a condition similar to hypothermia.Stunned turtles tend to float the surface and go wherever currents take them. Some wash ashore, while other may die or become easy prey for predators.

While volunteers have been on standby at the turtle hospital in Surf City, another form of help has been coming in from across the country.

“Through social media,” Surf City spokesman Allan Libby said.

Libby said within a day the Facebook post warning people to look out for these turtles got more than 1,500 shares.

“People just saying oh we want to help,” Libby said. “It may be a small part, but you are a component in these turtles lives.”

Niemeyer said without all of this help these turtle may not have lives.

“I don’t know,” Niemeyer said. “I just don’t know. They might not be alive..”

Watch out for turtles in shallow waters or close to shore! Staff at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital say, because of the temperature drop, a significant number of cold stunned turtles have been reported on the Carolina coast.

If you see a turtle, either floating, or washed up on the beach, please call the Sea Turtle Hotline at 252-241-7367.

Categories: Local, NC, News, Pender

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