Even though the recent cold snap brought many cold-stunned sea turtles into shallow waters and onto shorelines across the state, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and its many partners saved the majority of the animals from certain death.
Frigid water temperatures stunned thousands of sea turtles throughout the state. If left unaided, most of these turtles would not have survived. Many would have been attacked by predators, been hit by boats or simply drowned. Rescuers worked feverishly for more than a week to save the immobilized animals, rescuing and eventually releasing nearly 80 percent of the affected sea turtles. FWC biologists are confident that most of the sea turtles will not suffer long-term impacts from the stunning event.
Additional good news is emerging from those who have been working diligently to save the animals. Rescue of the sea turtles by the FWC and its many partners could prove beneficial to the animals in the long term.
“We’ve been able to tag many more turtles than ever before, which enables us to learn about their biology,” said Dr. Blair Witherington, FWC biologist. “It’s been a great opportunity for data collection; it’s unprecedented to have access to so many turtles at one time.”
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