Three endangered sea turtles now in the care of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences

For immediate release ‐ February 26, 2024

Contact: Jon Pishney, 919.707.8083. Images available upon request

A cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtle in the care of Vet staff at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

By Rachel Duensing

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Three Kemp’s ridley sea turtles needed a little extra TLC after being cold stunned, which is how they ended up at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh.

Dr. Dan Dombrowski, Director of Veterinary Sciences at the museum explains that when ocean water drops below 55 degrees turtles get “stunned,” making it hard to get back to warmer water, or even lift their heads out of the water to breathe.

“Once they’re that cold, their muscles, their physiology, they can survive, but they can’t really respond in an active way,” he explains.

The veterinary staff at the museum has spent weeks with these sea turtles, getting them healthy so they can return to warmer waters. That means weekly check ups to track their progress. [Some turtles are] gaining weight. Staff say that’s of course a good sign, but it also has a few injuries that need to keep healing.

Because the clinic is inside the museum, it offers a unique experience for people of all ages to learn about these beautiful creatures.

“When we’re doing our weekly exams on the turtles, it’s all focused on the turtles but we can share that experience with people right here in Raleigh,” Dr. Dombrowski says.

Read the full story and watch the video at CBS 17

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