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Cabarrus Magazine

SEA LIFE Assists in Rescue of Four Green Sea Turtles from NC Coast

Feb 11, 2016 10:36PM ● By Kevin

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium welcomed four green sea turtles for temporary rehabilitation last month. Cold-stunned by the widespread sudden drop in water temperature along the North Carolina coast, the juvenile sea turtles will be nurtured back to full health by SEA LIFE’s team of aquarists before being released back into the wild.

Every winter in the coastal region, a number of sea turtles miss the southward migration and become susceptible to suffering a hypothermic reaction from being exposed to prolonged cold temperatures, commonly known as “cold stunning”. This exposure hinders a sea turtle’s ability to properly regulate its body temperature and causes it to quit swimming which leads to floating, infections like pneumonia and stranding. The number of green sea turtles who missed this year’s southward migration is more excessive than in past years, and the drop in temperatures off the North Carolina coast caught several hundred sea turtles in water suddenly too cold for them to survive.
The green sea turtles’ rehabilitation at SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord is a prime example of SEA LIFE’s “Breed, Rescue and Protect” conservation program in action. SEA LIFE is passionate about conserving marine habitats and protecting the incredible species that live in them. As an AZA-accredited aquarium, SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord joins other facilities throughout North Carolina that are fostering the rescued sea turtles. The rehab process includes regulating body temperature back to normal and treating the creatures with antibiotics to fight infections. Once each turtle is at full strength, in about three weeks, they will be sent back to the coast.

“As part of our ‘Breed, Rescue and Protect’ conservation mission, SEA LIFE Aquariums throughout the world have rescued hundreds of sick and injured turtles,” said David Cochran, Curator at SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord. “This is the first time SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord has been able to assist in a sea turtle rescue. We are glad to be in a position to rehab and get these little ones back into their natural habitats.”
For their health and safety, SEA LIFE’s rescued sea turtles will not be on display at the aquarium, but guests can learn more about them on the aquarium’s Behind-the-Scenes Tour. Admission tickets are available online for as low as $12.95. For more information, visit

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