Acclimated to milder water off of Florida’s coasts, cold-blooded sea turtles become unable to swim or eat as water temperatures drop, leaving the reptiles stunned and hypothermic. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and several other county, state and federal agencies quickly came to the aid of these endangered and threatened turtles.
According to NOAA, officials rescued more than 3,500 turtles in the last couple of weeks and treated them for dehydration and injuries. And with temperatures rising recently, agencies have been able to release the turtles back into their natural habitats.
The FWC reports that a total of 2,000 turtles have been released on the East Coast so far, and 800 more turtles are expected to be released today and tomorrow from the Panhandle region alone.