Every once in a while an event comes along and it’s a reminder of how amazing the people who live on the Outer Banks are. That’s the case with a recent spate of cold stunned sea turtles.
Over 340 turtles have been rescued from the beaches of Hatteras Island over the past week. Mostly green turtles, with a few Kemps Ridleys and loggerhead in the mix, it is for North Carolina an unprecedented event.
According to experts in the field, the most likely cause was an abnormally warm December with plummeting temperatures earlier this week.
The turtles will die unless they are rehabilitated and that’s where the can-do and volunteer spirit of the Outer Banks has come in to play.
Volunteers with N.E.S.T. (Network for Endangered Sea Turtles) and National Park Service employees have been combing the beach looking for turtles.
No one has ever seen anything like this and every where you look at the center, buckets and bins are filled with cold stunned turtles regaining their strength. Volunteers are constantly walking among the turtles, cleaning the water, feeding them and making sure they are recovering.
One of the most amazing facts is that only six have been lost so far.
The first batch of 85 has already been sent to Florida to be released in warm waters. Even that took a huge cooperative effort, from Fish and Wildlife supplying a truck for transportation to the permits that are required from every state along the route. According to the folks at the Aquarium the cooperation from all agencies has been absolutely outstanding.
The next batch of 85 turtles should be at the Fort Macon, NC Coast Guard Station by Monday. The Coast Guard has agreed to take the turtles to the Gulf Stream to release them.