Rescued turtles at Jersey Shore aren’t dead — but look that way
LONG BEACH ISLAND — Marine officials say they've rescued at least four turtles that appeared to be dead from the bay behind Long Beach Island, but are really just "cold stunned."
"When sea turtles are in water that is below 55 degrees, their metabolism slows considerably and they become immobile," the Marine Mammal Stranding Center reported on its Facebook page.
The center said that most of the turtles are usually gone by now, but some of them find a warm spot in back bays and will delay their departure. The below-average temperatures caught them off guard.
"The past few days have been very cold and the water temps dropped fast, leaving them helpless and too cold to swim," the group wrote.
According to Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow, things won't get any better for the sea turtles — or anyone looking for warmer ocean water soon.
"The average ocean temperature along the Jersey Shore right now is 49 degrees. According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, that is below New Jersey's normal November water temperature, between 51 and 53 degrees. Plus, with temperatures generally staying below-normal through the rest of November, ocean temps will only continue to get colder as winter approaches," Zarrow said.
The stranding center asked that if you come across a sea turtle on the beach to remove it from the water and put it in "a quiet outdoor location." Do not try to warm it up on your own— for instance, by wrapping it in a blanked — because it could send the turtle into shock and actually kill it.
The center said to call it at 609-266-0538 and to stay with the turtle until a representative arrives.
WHYY was the first to report on the sea turtles.
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