New Jersey organization rescues sea turtles that have failed to migrate to warmer waters

The organization Sea Turtle Recovery has already rescued four sea turtles that were recently found cold-stunned on the Jersey Shore after failing to migrate south.
The turtles are then taken to a rehabilitation facility in West Orange so that they can heal.
One turtle – known as No. 5 – is on the road to recovery. Once his heart rate goes up, the young turtle will be given an antibiotic to treat a respiratory infection.
No. 5, and others like him, were found virtually lifeless due to low body temperatures.
“All of these guys came in between 46- and 48-degrees Fahrenheit,” says Bill Deer, of Sea Turtle Recovery.
Deer says recovery starts in shallow pools at the facility.
“This gives them nice shallow water so it’s easier to get their head up to breathe,” he says.
One turtle was found on a New Jersey beach with a body temperature of 47 degrees. Deer says that this is barely alive because turtles’ body temperatures should be 70 degrees. This turtle will be nursed back to health in the smaller pool before graduating to one of the larger tanks at Sea Turtle Recovery.
This is the time of year in New Jersey - and New England in particular - when mass strandings can occur among sea turtles that have failed to migrate fast enough to warmer waters. Quick changes in weather with cold wind like New Jersey experienced this past weekend can stun the animals and push them onto the beach.
Sea Turtle Recovery specializes in rehabilitating and releasing these turtles. The next release will be their 90th turtle since starting this effort in 2016.
What should beachgoers do if they see one of these turtles?
“You don’t want to touch it. You don’t want to warm it,” Deer says. “If we raise their temperature too quickly, it kind of throws them into shock and they can pass away on us.”
Deer says the turtles’ body temperatures can only rise 1 or 2 degrees per day. Anyone who finds a turtle should call Sea Turtle Recovery of the local police.