7 cold-stunned sea turtles rescued off FL coast

Posted at 5:35 AM, Feb 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-15 06:32:26-05

MARATHON, Fla. (AP) — Seven young green sea turtles are being rehabilitated at a special hospital after being rescued from frigid waters off the Florida coast.

The Miami Herald reports that the turtles were found swimming lethargically in 57-degree water by Clearwater Marine Aquarium staff near Clearwater Beach. The cold water stuns the turtles.

Those rescued were found amid some dead turtles, and taken to the Turtle Hospital in Marathon to be treated.

Hospital manager Bette Zirkelbach says more turtles are expected to be delivered, but that some died after arriving.

Zirkelbach says four were already eating and will undergo surgeries to remove tumors caused by fibropapillomatosis, a herpes virus specific to sea turtles.

Full recovery could take up to two years.

The hospital admitted 172 sea turtles in 2015, up from 93 in 2014.

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