Weekend Brings More Cold-Stun Turtles, Donations to Aquarium
By Outer Banks Voice
Cold-stunned sea turtles continued to arrive for treatment at the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island throughout the weekend following last week’s drop in water temperatures.
As of Monday morning, 96 sea turtles had been admitted to the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center.
Meanwhile, donations to the STAR Center through the NC Aquarium Society have exceeded $3,100 since Friday and generous donors have purchased $850 in supplies from the STAR Center’s Amazon.com wish list.
“We are extremely thankful for everyone’s help,” said NCARI Director Maylon White. “Cold-stun season increases the demand for resources, supplies and energy, and these kinds of donations make a big difference.”
Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, 30 turtles were recovered on beaches around Hatteras and transported to NCARI, adding to the more than 60 that had arrived by Friday evening.
The STAR Center is utilizing extra space to house the turtles during their recovery: the public walkway of the STAR Center is lined with bins containing recovering turtles, as is the guest bathrooms near the Aquarium admission offices.
Since the entire STAR Center is being used as a turtle recovery area, public access to the turtle hospital is temporarily closed.
Extra staff have also been brought in to assist in moving turtles from space to space as they warm up. Gradually rewarming cold-stunned turtles is crucial to their recovery, and involves several spaces heated to different temperatures.
Fortunately, many of the turtles are not experiencing any of the residual health issues or malnourishment sometimes associated with cold-stunning, and are displaying good swimming ability as soon as they are back to their ideal temperature.
That positive prognosis means as many as 20 turtles may be going back to sea as early as this week via an off-shore boat release out of Morehead City.
The aquarium continues to welcome and appreciate donations to help the cold-stunned sea turtle recovery effort. Find out how to donate items from the Amazon.com wish list online at ncaquariums.com.
Anyone wanting to donate to the STAR Center can mail or hand deliver a check with “STAR” or “Sea Turtle” in the subject line to the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island, 374 Airport Road, P.O. Box 967, Manteo NC, 27954 or donate online at ncaquariumsociety.com/livingtreasures and use the promo code STAR Center.