Over 100 Sea Turtles Wash Up On Cape Cod Over Weekend

Workers at Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary place cold-stunned turtles in banana boxes used to transport the animals to the New England Aquarium for medical treatment.

Workers at Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary place cold-stunned turtles in banana boxes used to transport the animals to the New England Aquarium for medical treatment.

WELLFLEET – It was a busy weekend for animal rescue crews on Cape Cod with over 100 endangered and cold-stunned sea turtles washing up on local beaches.

The strandings happened from Brewster to Truro over the course of a 12 hour period, thanks to strong winds and colder temperatures.

This weekend represents a major uptick in strandings, after a reasonably slow start to the season. There have been about 300 rescues this year, far less than last year’s record 1,200.

The seasonably warm temperatures is viewed as a major reason for the drop in strandings. When the temperature drops below 50 degrees, the turtles begin to get dangerously chilled.

Officials with the Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary say this was the first big stranding period of the year. Typically, most strandings come in November, usually around Thanksgiving.

The turtles feed in Cape Cod Bay during the summer, and often become trapped trying to navigate their way out of the bay as the waters cool.

The rescued animals will be treated at the New England Aquarium sea turtle rehab facility in Quincy.

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