40 hypothermic sea turtles rescued on Cape Cod

Forty hypothermic sea turtles found on Cape Cod are being taken to the New England Aquarium’s care center in Quincy to be warmed up, the aquarium said today.

The endangered reptiles, mostly large loggerheads and green sea turtles, have been pouring in over the past three days, aquarium spokesman Tony LaCasse said in a statement.

Sea turtles often become stranded from early November through December, so volunteers from the Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary at Wellfleet Bay stake out the coasts each year in order to save them.

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Despite the fact that sea turtles are cold-blooded, they are susceptible to infections at such low body temperatures. The aquarium takes the reptiles and warms them up 5 degrees a day until their body temperature reaches slightly more than 70 degrees.

Almost 90 sea turtles have been rescued so far this season, including the recent batch, the aquarium said.

Loggerhead turtles are both an endangered and threatened species and typically weigh up to 250 pounds and grow up to 3 feet long, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Green sea turtles are also an endangered and threatened species and can grow to about 3 feet long and weigh more than 300 pounds.

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