27 endangered sea turtles saved thanks to Audubon Nature Institute

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - For these 27 survivors, it sure feels good being rescued. Eleven-hundred total sea turtles have been stranded along the New England coast due to a sudden drop in water temperature.

"They're cold-blooded animals so they're bodies shut down, they end up floating, developing a lot of bacterial pneumonia, fungal pneumonia and they can get corneal ulcerations in their eyes. A lot of rehab facilities across the coast including us have taken the part to help these guys out," says Dr. Tres Clark of Audubon Nature Institute.

The first step, treating any open wounds, giving them antibiotics and great grub.

"We got them on Monday and these guys have been doing pretty well. Our stranding coordinator Suzanne Smith has been very diligent in getting these guys to eat. We've only had a few holdouts to eating, we're working on those guys right now and pretty soon, hopefully, in the next few months we'll get them all out," says Dr. Clark.

The turtles' behavior is monitored daily and when they're ready, they'll be released into the wild, each one tagged for research purposes, the information invaluable since Kemp’s ridleys are the most endangered sea turtle in the world.

"These guys were down to very minimal levels a while back but through rehab and a lot of concentrated effort and a lot of groups have been responsible in bringing this species back up."

There's still a long road ahead for these guys on the road to health and to Cape Cod, but at least for now they're out of troubled water.


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