Cold sea turtles flown from New England to Florida

December 8, 2012 - 2:33 PM
Sea Turtle Strandings

In this Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 photo, a rescued green sea turtle swims in a tank at the New England Aquarium's Animal Care Center in Quincy, Mass. Some 207 sea turtles have stranded on Cape Cod this fall. That exceeds the 50-to-200 range that typically are stranded in the season from October to December. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — More than two dozen sea turtles stressed by cold ocean waters have been airlifted from New England to recover in balmy Florida.

The Coast Guard flew the turtles to Orlando on Friday. The Daytona Beach News Journal reports (http://bit.ly/VEEqBm) that 20 turtles were taken to SeaWorld Orlando. Five loggerhead turtles were taken to the Volusia County Marine Science Center. Three other facilities in Florida also took in turtles.

A New England Aquarium spokesman says a record number of endangered and federally protected sea turtles have been treated this year for cold stress.

SeaWorld officials say an unseasonably warm November delayed the turtles' exit from Cape Cod Bay. When water temperatures suddenly dropped, the turtles developed hypothermia and washed ashore.

The turtles will be returned to their natural habitat when water temperatures are warmer.