Cold weather taking toll on sea turtles

Filed under: Roanoke Island by roanokeisland on Friday, March 8th, 2013

The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island and Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (N.E.S.T.) Rehabilitation Center are seeing more ailing sea turtles because of cold weather conditions.

“Before Christmas we had six sea turtles undergoing rehabilitation,” said Christian Legner, aquarist and Aquarium coordinator for N.E.S.T. “Since that time, we have received 29 cold- stunned sea turtles from Outer Banks beaches and soundside shores, including loggerheads, greens and Kemp’s ridleys.”

N.E.S.T. volunteers have been working around the clock to find and transport turtles to the Aquarium’s rehabilitation facility.

Sea turtles are protected by federal law. If you come across a stranded sea turtle, dead or alive, it is illegal to handle these endangered animals. Call the N.E.S.T. hotline at 252-441-8622. Cost to care for these federally protected animals averages between $300 and $500 per turtle.

To make a donation to N.E.S.T., visit www.nestonline.org.