Cold-stunned sea turtles wash ashore on North Carolina coast

HATTERAS, N.C. (AP) — More than 100 sea turtles stunned by recent cold temperatures have washed up on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the National Park Service said.

The agency said on its Facebook page on Wednesday that approximately 95 green and Kemp's ridley turtles washed ashore on Tuesday on the south side of Hatteras Island. Of that total, 35 washed up onto the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the agency said.

In addition, the park service says another 10 turtles were found on Wednesday morning on the National Seashore.

The turtles were taken to the N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island for rehabilitation. Many are expected to be released by the end of the week. The majority of the cold-stunned turtles have been found from Buxton to Hatteras, and seashore biotechs and multiple volunteer organizations continued searching for cold-stunned turtles on Wednesday.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. sea turtles are cold-blooded reptiles that depend on the temperature of their surroundings to maintain their body temperature. When temperatures rapidly decline and sea turtles are cut off from moving to warmer waters, they can suffer from a form of hypothermia known as cold stunning, NOAA said on its fisheries webpage.

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