Cold stunned turtles

During a recent period of below zero temps, (In Florida? yeah for real!) I was lucky enough to cover sea turtle rescues from St. Joe Bay in Gulf County. When temps drop too low, the turtles, being cold-blooded, can’t warm up enough, become lethargic and lay helpless on the surface or drift to shore on incoming tides. Biologists and volunteers from several state and federal agencies searched for these “cold-stunned” turtles all along the Panhandle coast and rescued around 1,000 over a 5 day period! An amazing effort! The most common species rescued was the green sea turtle. Loggerheads, several endangered Kemp’s Ridley (pictured) and I even heard mention of a hawksbill! It really warmed my heart to see the effort put in by amazing people who work really hard to conserve these amazing creatures year-round.

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