Four Cold Stunned Sea Turtles Rescued
Four Cold Stunned Sea Turtles Rescued Today-
Riverhead Foundation Issues Alert:
Report All Sea Turtle Strandings To the Emergency Hotline 631-369-9829
At 7:30 am this morning the first of four critically hypothermic sea turtles was reported by a local resident to the Riverhead Foundation’s emergency 24-hour hotline (631) 369-9829. The first sea turtle, an Atlantic green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) was found lifeless at Reeve’s Beach in Riverhead. By early afternoon biologists had recovered two other turtles from the town of Southold and one from Montauk State Park. All were transported to the Riverhead Foundation’s hospital facility located at the Atlantis Marine World Aquarium.
An initial physical examination by medical staff found three of the four sea turtles, to be Atlantic Green sea turtles which are listed as a “Threatened” species in New York waters. The turtles are estimated to be less than two years in age and measure just under one foot in length. Each of the turtles was assessed as suffering from the effects of cold stunning (hypothermia), a life threatening condition brought about by critically low body temperatures. All of the sea turtle recovered are presently listed in guarded condition and will continue to be closely monitored by staff members for the next several days and remain at the Riverhead Foundation’s facility for the next several months. “Once these turtles come up on the beach, it’s a race against time. That’s why we are so thankful for the individuals who report these animals immediately to the Riverhead Foundation’s hotline number (631-369-9840),” stated Kimberly Durham, Rescue Program Director.
“We are thankful to New York State Assemblymen Robert K. Sweeny and Marc Alessi for their foresight to allocate much needed funding to help New York state’s marine mammals and sea turtles. The sudden drop in temperature, however, may be an indicator of environmental conditions which will render more sea turtles cold stunned and undoubtedly tax the Foundation’s already limited resources. We are calling on the public for support, if they see a sea turtle on the beach we need them to call the hotline immediately. Public donations will also assist with the purchase of medical supplies and equipment such as water heaters and heat lamps,” stated Robert DiGiovanni the Foundation Director/Senior Biologist.
Cold-stunning (similar to hypothermia) is a condition that occurs when cold-blooded sea turtles are in water temperatures below 50 degrees Farienhiet. Since cold-stunning slows down the movements of inflicted sea turtles, many are initially reported dead but in fact, are just cold-stunned. The Riverhead Foundation encourages the public to immediately call in any sea turtles found to the emergency hotline number, (631) 369-9829.
Never place a sea turtle back into the water - Always call the hotline first and wait for a biologist’s instructions.
Never begin warming the sea turtle without prior consult from experts as this may result in thermal shock.
The Riverhead Foundation needs your help now more than ever…So How Can You Help?
Attend a Cold Stun Training Lecture
Call 631-369-9840 for Reservations
November 27th at 7 pm at the Stony Brook Student Union Hall at Stony Brook University
December 1st at 12 noon at Atlantis Marine World in Riverhead
*Patrol the beaches for sick & injured marine mammals and sea turtles
*Report any sightings of healthy animals to (631) 369-9840 ext. 15 or firstname.lastname@example.org
*Adopt a dolphin, whale, seal or sea turtle
*Make a donation (Monetary or In-Kind)
*Tell your friends & family
The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation is a 501 (c) (3) not for profit organization that operates the Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program in New York State. Last year the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation rescued over 150 seals. In addition, we currently have two sea turtles and one harbor seal in our hospital! You can sponsor a marine mammal or sea turtle by calling 631-369-9840, and donating today. For information about the Riverhead Foundation, to adopt an animal or to become a member, please visit us on the web at www.riverheadfoundation.org, or call us at 631-369-9840.
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