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Autumn Turner
Reader, Writer, Gamer, Lover of History
Reader, Writer, Gamer, Lover of History
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I discovered my Patronus is a Mastiff on J.K Rowling’s Pottermore. Find out yours now: https://my.pottermore.com/patronus
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I discovered my Patronus on J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore. Want to find out yours?
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Cold-stunned turtles turn up on area shores


52 out of 75 rescued off Cape Lookout delivered to North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores for recovery

A plunge in temperatures this week brought a second round of cold-stunned sea turtles to area facilities for rehabilitation.

More than 200 sea turtles have been taken to North Carolina aquariums after becoming stranded off the coast after a rapid drop in water temperatures with the recent cold snap left sea turtles cold-stunned, a hypothermia-like condition.

The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores received more than 50 juvenile green sea turtles on Wednesday, part of a larger group of turtles rescued the day before from the waters off of Cape Lookout National Seashore.

“We received 52 of the sea turtles from the group of 75 turtles rescued Tuesday off Cape Lookout,” said Claire Aubel, spokeswoman for the Pine Knoll Shores aquarium.

The strandings have been ongoing; and as of Wednesday evening, the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island was caring for more than 150 cold stunned sea turtles at their facility.

“There are 160 out there now and we’re expecting more,” said Buster Nunemaker, public relations coordinator at the Roanoke Island aquarium.

He said they have primarily received cold stunned turtles from the Outer Banks off Hatteras Island and Buxton.

The first 81 came in Tuesday and the sea turtles have continued to come in in groups.

Nunemaker said the aquarium is currently closed for renovation and they used all available space, including bathrooms, to warm up the sea turtles.

Due to the large number of sea turtles to come in, they’ve also asked for donations of tubs and towels to help with caring for the turtles.

“It’s been a real community effort,” he said.

Nunemaker said one of the 81 turtles brought into the facility on Tuesday died but all the other turtles were “hanging in there.”

Back at Pine Knoll Shores, the staff worked to care for the incoming sea turtles there.

“It appears a lot of them have responded quickly to being warmed up,” Aubel said.

The 52 the aquarium received Wednesday are in addition to the 10 sea turtles they have been caring for since late December after a cold-stunning event in waters off of Cape Cod.

A total of 30 sea turtles, most of them critically endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, were transported to North Carolina at that time. Of those, 20 were taken to the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Surf City.

Information was not immediately available on whether the sea turtle hospital received any of the latest cold stunned turtles.

By Jannette Pippin 
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