• 64°

First cold-stunned turtles of the season arrive for treatment at aquarium’s STAR Center

The first sea turtle patients affected by cold-stunning have arrived at the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. As of Friday, five new patients – four greens and one Kemp’s Ridley – were being treated at the sea turtle hospital.

“Cold-stunning is caused when water temperatures drop quickly. Sea turtles close to shore and unable to get back to the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream can experience a hypothermic condition that renders these aquatic reptiles unable to properly swim,” stated a press release from NCARI.

Treatment involves gradually warming the animals back to their healthy temperature, then making sure they are able to swim and eat normally.

“Because cold-stunned turtles are vulnerable to other illness and injury, the STAR Center staff and veterinary team may treat them for a variety of other issues,” stated the aquarium. “Depending on the condition of their health, recovery may take weeks or months before they are cleared for release.”

These five turtles were recovered near Hatteras by the volunteer non-profit Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (N.E.S.T) and by the National Park Service before being transported to the STAR Center.

turtles

Alex Jeddry, assistant STAR Center manager. Courtesy NCARI

Although the STAR Center treats sick or injured sea turtles year-round, “cold-stun season” – typically December through February – is often the busiest time for the facility, which is located north of Manteo on Roanoke Island. “Dozens, even hundreds, of turtle patients have come through the hospital for treatment, and in past winters, the staff has had to get creative with finding space for them all,” stated NCARI. “Recovery tubs have been known to take up the entire public-visiting side of the STAR Center, and because of the need for separate spaces held at different temperatures, the aquarium’s gatehouse restrooms are often utilized. When playing host to these aquatic reptile patients, those areas will be closed to guests so the turtles can rest and recover.”

As cold-stun season progresses, the aquarium will post updates on new arrivals and progress on recovering turtles to its social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

“Additional supplies are needed in anticipation of more turtles arriving for treatment. Items can be purchased from the STAR Center’s Amazon.com wish list to help staff care for current and incoming patients,” stated the aquarium.

For more information about NCARI, visit ncaquariums.com/roanoke-island.

READ ABOUT MORE NEWS AND EVENTS HERE.

RECENT HEADLINES:

Fireworks display set for Thursday in Kill Devil Hills

American white pelicans: What a wingspan!

Lifestyles

Homegrown: A collaborative showcase of creativity

News

Overturned dump truck blocks NC 12 on Hatteras Island

News

Nags Head Board of Commissioners proposes extending current MSDs, establishing new ones

News

Up again: Weekly gas price update for North Carolina

News

Lower seasonal speed limits now in place along parts of NC 12

News

Dare commissioners look at spending for next two fiscal years

News

Vehicle fire extinguished in Rodanthe

Crime

North Carolina school psychologist charged with sex crime

News

Glossy ibis displays range of colors

Crime

North Carolina woman sentenced to prison, nearly $230k restitution for false tax return conspiracy

Lifestyles

Chicamacomico Banks Volunteer Fire Department to hold annual meeting

News

Southern Shores Town Council establishes MSDs; tax increases to be determined

Crime

North Carolina man sentenced to 24 years in prison for drug-related charges

Lifestyles

Mollie Fearing Memorial Art Show awards recipients announced

News

NC 12 Task Force meets this week

Crime

Man and woman charged in drug overdose death of North Carolina woman

News

COVID-19 business limits and most mask mandates end in North Carolina

News

North Carolina DMV resumes Saturday hours at 16 offices

Lifestyles

NC MedAssist holding free pharmacy events in Dare

News

Enrollment for North Carolina Medicaid managed care ending

Lifestyles

Columbia Lions Club yard sale set for Saturday

News

New permit facilitates transfer of shellfish for restoration projects

Crime

North Carolina man found guilty, sentenced to more than 100 years in prison in attack on college students

Crime

North Carolina man sentenced to 20 years in prison for robbery, carjacking and kidnapping