By Eric Williams | Tuesday, November 30, 2010 | http://www.bostonherald.com | Photo by Merrily Cassidy/Cape Cod Times
Even turtle experts are stunned at the recent pace of cold-stunned turtle season on Cape Cod.
From Thursday through midday Monday, 85 sea turtles in trouble were plucked from area beaches.
"This certainly could be a record stranding year," said Robert Prescott, director of the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. "They’re being found anywhere from Sandy Neck in Barnstable all the way up to Ryder Beach in Truro."
Altogether this season, 107 turtles have been found alive and 26 found dead. Most of the survivors have been sent for treatment to a New England Aquarium rehabilitation facility in Quincy. Kemp’s ridley turtles make up the vast majority of the Cape’s stunned turtle population.
In 1999, 278 turtles were brought to the Audubon sanctuary, the current record.
The sanctuary is seeking donations of towels and cardboard boxes to help transport the chilled reptiles to rehab.
Experts say if you see a cold-stunned turtle, move it above the high-tide line. Cover it with eelgrass or seaweed to reduce the effect of the wind. Mark the spot with beach debris in a way that will allow it to be found again. Call the Mass Audubon's sea turtle hot line at 508-349-2615, ext. 104, and leave the exact location of the turtle. Then, let the turtle professionals do their thing.
Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1299792