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4 turtles flown from Virginia to Loggerhead Marinelife Center for treatment

2 turtles being treated with antibiotics for pneumonia
Posted at 6:34 PM, Dec 22, 2022

JUNO BEACH, Fla. — Four turtles are now rehabbing at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center after they were found in a "cold stunned" condition off the Virginia coast. 

Cold stunning is a condition where sea turtles become sick and weak after they're exposed to ocean temperatures below 50 degrees. 

All four turtles were flown from an aquarium in Virginia to the facility located in Juno Beach.

Two turtles have pneumonia and are being treated with antibiotics. 

Dr. Heather Barron, chief veterinarian at Loggerhead Marinelife Center
Dr. Heather Barron speaks about the facilities available at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center to rehabilitate turtles.

Loggerhead's chief veterinarian said the center is prepared to rehabilitate more turtles if the freezing temperatures cause more of them to be cold-stunned. 

"Not only do we have multiple tanks out here, each one of these tanks can potentially be divided depending on the size of the turtle," Dr. Heather Barron said while pointing at one of the tanks where a rehabbing loggerhead turtle was swimming. "We have additional temporary tanks outside." 

Barron said that when the rehabbing turtles are ready to go back into the ocean, wildlife officials in Virginia will determine if they should be brought back north to be released into the Atlantic Ocean. 

She added that since these cold-stunned turtles usually migrate south for the winter, there is a possibility they will be released close to the Juno Beach facility.