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Cold-Stunned Turtles Flown From New England To Florida Keys

Cold Stunned Turtles
Brooke Burkhalter, from left, Bette Zirkelbach, Shelby Loos and Jeff Carr work to intubate a Kemp's ridley sea turtle at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Fla., Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018. A group of 32 cold-stunned turtles was flown to the Florida Keys to be treated and warmed up after being rescued between late November and early December off Cape Cod, Mass. Once the sea turtles are healthy enough to be released, they are to be returned to warmer waters off Florida.
Larry Benvenuti/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP

MARATHON, Fla. (AP) — Officials say 32 cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtles rescued off New England's coast have arrived in the Florida Keys to warm up at the Turtle Hospital.

A volunteer group of general aviation pilots, under the banner of "Turtles Fly Too," transported the reptiles on Tuesday.

Hospital officials say several of the turtles suffer from compromised immune systems and pneumonia as a result of "cold stunning," a hypothermic reaction that occurs when turtles are exposed to cold water for prolonged periods.

The turtles were rescued over the past month off Cape Cod, Massachusetts. They were initially treated at the New England Aquarium in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Upon their arrival at the Turtle Hospital, on-site veterinarians and staff conducted full physical examinations and began caring for the reptiles.

Cold Stunned Turtles
A Kemp's ridley sea turtle attempts to climb out of its tub at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Fla.
Larry Benvenuti/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP

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