A Hampton Bays-based marine wildlife rescue group is treating 20 critically endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles that were among 200 recently cold-stunned off the coast of New England.
NOAA Fisheries New England/Mid-Atlantic, a federal agency, asked the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), a local nonprofit organization, to help the turtles, thereby freeing up space in Massachusetts animal care facilities. Another nonprofit, Turtles Fly Too, flew the turtles to the Hamptons.
“All animals were triaged, and we are happy to report that all 20 turtles are already swimming in our three tanks,” AMCS said.
Only 7,000–9,000 nesting female Kemp’s ridley sea turtles remain alive worldwide. Cold-stunning occurs when sea turtles become weak and inactive as they’re exposed to waters below 5° Fahrenheit before they migrate south for winter.
Learn more about AMCS at amseas.org.
If you find cold stunned or beached sea turtles — or any stranded marine mammals such as whales, seals, dolphin or porpoise locally on the East End — call the NYS Stranding Hotline immediately at 631-369-9829.