More than 1,000 sea turtles have been recovered in Florida waters as far south as Brevard County, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
At the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach, 31 green sea turtles are receiving around-the-clock care. The center normally takes in about 40 to 50 turtles during an entire year.
In order to accommodate the influx of turtles, the learning center is being used as a triage and dry-docking area, filled with donated kiddie pools and plastic bins with water.
“It’s not the ideal situation, but this is a statewide emergency, so we’re doing whatever we can to fit them in,” said Tom Longo, communications manager at the center.
As reptiles, sea turtles don’t generate their own body heat, so when the temperature drops outside and in the water, so do their body temperatures, said Kirt Rusenko, a marine conservationist at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton. When their body temperatures fall below 60 degrees, they become immobilized and tend to float to the surface. Many of them end up with pneumonia.
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