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Georgia Sea Turtle Center houses 15 cold-stunned turtles

The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is now home for 15 cold-stunned turtles who arrived in November 2019 from Massachusetts.

Out of these turtles, 14 of them were Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles and one was a loggerhead sea turtle.

On top of being cold-stunned, a few of these turtles also have pneumonia.

Michelle Kaylor, the rehabilitation manager at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, says this can happen as a secondary infection after becoming cold-stunned.

As of right now, there is no word on when the turtles will be released.

Those who work at the turtle center usually pick a theme for naming the turtles when they arrive, and this season’s theme is cheese.

“We have Gouda, Havarti, Brie and Swiss -- just the name a few," Kaylor said.

So far this season, there have been no reports of cold-stunned turtles along the Florida-Georgia coast.

“When temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, that’s when turtles can start becoming cold-stunned wherever they are,” said Kaylor.

Water temperatures along the North Florida coast tend to drop to that low in the months of January and February.

“There’s typically three areas that you see cold stunning happening annually, and that’s going to be Massachusetts, Florida and Texas," Kaylor said.

If you do come across a turtle that is washed up on shore that could potentially be cold-stunned, it’s important to report it. If the turtle is along the Florida coast, you would call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 888-404-FWCC (3922). If the turtle is in Georgia, you can report it by calling 800-272-8363.


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