PINE KNOLL SHORES, N.C. (WITN) — A sudden change in temperature on the North Carolina coast is causing several sea turtles to develop a form of hypothermia known as “cold-stunning.”
More than a dozen turtles are currently being treated at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores.
“These animals become almost hypodermic so their metabolism will slow. They’ll become very lethargic and usually, they’ll just float at the surface not able to feed; not able to warm their body,” said aquarium director Hap Fatzinger.
Aquarists say 15 of the 17 turtles being treated are eating their recommended amount of shrimp, sardines and clams.
They’re also receiving regular eye drops and medications to help fight pneumonia and other illnesses they may have developed.