We Need Your Help!

Help Us Help The Turtles. Donate Now!

From January 5th-7th of this year, approximately 1,000 cold-stunned sea turtles were found and rescued along the coast of North Carolina. Most of these individuals were gradually warmed and released back into warmer waters offshore in NC or transported and released into the warmer waters along the coast of Florida. However, there were 97 green sea turtles that needed additional medical care and were placed in rehabilitation facilities throughout North Carolina. The Veterinary Services unit of the Museum offered to assist in any way needed and was asked by the North Carolina Aquarium's veterinary staff to help with rehabilitation of some of the turtles. Based on the infrastructure already in place within the Living Collections Section of the Museum, we offered to rehabilitate seven juvenile Green Sea Turtles that were in need of continued medical care and assistance.

Your donation will help the Museum meet its goal of raising $10,000 to cover the emergency medical expenses and special care these sea turtles so desperately need. Any funds raised beyond the goal will directly support the husbandry and veterinary needs of the Museum’s live collection.


Come See the Turtles at the Museum!

Location: Window on Animal Health
Times and Dates

  • 1:30pm - 3:30pm Wednesday February 17th Event Page
  • 1:30pm - 3:30pm Tuesday February 9th Event Page

Follow the Journey!

These videos document a part of the journey and the quality of care that these individuals have experienced during their time at the Museum.

January 13, 2016


January 26, 2016


January 27, 2016


Rescued Sea Turtle FAQ

1. What is cold-stunning and why did this happen?

Cold-stunning is a medical emergency for a sea turtle. It induces a torpor-like state that results in a decreased heart rate, lethargy, followed by shock, pneumonia and possibly death. While most do not require an extensive rehabilitation, sea turtles affected by cold- stunning usually do not survive in the wild. The extended very-warm weather in December 2015 warmed the bay and ocean water temperatures enough to draw many sea turtles in and encouraged others to migrate north along the coast. The sudden drop to below-normal temperatures in early January rapid-chilled these waters and “cold-stunned” the turtles.

2. Are the sea turtles on display?

No. Per USFWS permitting requirements, “tours and the display of rehabilitating animals are not authorized”. However, there will be opportunities to observe the turtles during their weekly medical evaluations and treatments. See the list of dates and times above or the Programs and Events Calendar for upcoming turtle observations at the Window on Animal Health.

3. Are there any opportunities to view the turtles?

There will be opportunities to observe the turtles during their weekly medical evaluations/treatments in the Window On Animal Health (WOAH). Based on USFWS guidelines we will have to modify how the WOAH will be ran while the turtles are being examined, so as to “not interfere with the treatment and care of the turtle…minimize disturbance and stress to turtles, including…minimal noise, and no flash photography”. See the list of dates and times above or the Programs and Events Calendar for upcoming turtle observations at the Window on Animal Health.

4. How can I help?

Your donations will help the Museum meet its goal of raising $10,000 to cover the medical expenses and special care these sea turtles so desperately need.

5. When will the turtles be released?

Each turtle has a different medical issue that has necessitated its rehab. Based on the results of each turtle's weekly medical exams and evaluations, decisions are made by the veterinarian on its readiness for release. Based on the turtles' current medical status, they will likely be released within the next few months.