Coast Guard to fly rescued turtles to Fla.

Dec. 7, 2012 at 5:57 PM
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BOSTON, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Thirty-five stranded sea turtles recovering from hypothermia will be flown from Massachusetts to Florida with the help of the U.S. Coast Guard, officials said.

The New England Aquarium said a Coast Guard aircraft would take the turtles, rescued in the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary at Cape Cod, from Otis Air National Guard Base on the cape to a number of marine animal rescue facilities in Florida, The Boston Globe reported Friday.

While sea turtles are cold-blooded reptiles they can be susceptible to infections at low body temperatures, the aquarium said.

The turtles are being sent to Florida because the aquarium's medical center in Quincy, Mass, has surpassed its capacity for sea turtles after more than 100 arrived in the past 10 days, aquarium spokesman Tony LaCasse said in a statement.

"Each November and December, three different species of endangered sea turtles wash up on beaches there near death and severely hypothermic," he said.

Nearly 90 percent of the turtles rescued are juvenile Kemp's Ridleys, the world's most endangered sea turtle, LaCasse said.

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