Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Program prepares to respond to cold-stunned sea turtles

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Program is gearing up for winter, which means preparing to take in cold-stunned sea turtles.

The team has already brought in four turtles this season.

“Cold-stunning” is a hypothermic reaction that happens when sea turtles are exposed to cold water temperatures for long periods of time. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, symptoms of cold stunning include decreased heart rate, decreased circulation, and lethargy, followed by shock, pneumonia and possibly death.

The chances of sea turtles getting cold-stunned rise whenever water temperatures fall below 50 °F.

If you see any sea turtle in the region, regardless of its condition, call the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Program at (757) 385-7575.