Operation Cold Stun: Inside the fight to save Clearwater's sea turtles
Sea turtles stunned by the cold weather have been arriving by the dozens at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, stretching the aquarium's turtle team thin. The Tampa Bay area reached frigid temperatures, causing an influx of sea turtle intakes. Sea turtles are reptiles, and assume the temperatures of the environment around them. When the temperatures drop, it puts sea turtles at risk of being cold-stunned. Many of the area’s sea turtles have passed their way through the CMA’s doors, and are comprised with viruses and buoyancy issues. Aquarium staff has worked round the clock to rescue these animals and have seen great results. After rescuing and rehabbing about 30 sea turtles, the aquarium is ready to release two of them back into the Gulf of Mexico.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium is providing critical care to these sick sea turtles 24 hours a day. It costs $300/per day to rehabilitate each sea turtle intake and donations are needed. The goal of $25,000 for rescue and rehab efforts is underway, and donations help purchase sea turtle care items such as storage bins and temperature probes. Those wishing to donate can visit the main Clearwater Marine Aquarium page and click on "Help Operation Cold Stun".