Tabitha the Sea Turtle , thankfully, was healthy enough to release before the potentially deadly weather that usually hits sea turtles in November.

Did you know that there is a non-profit rehabilitation hospital that handles all critically-injured and ill sea turtles that was ashore in our state? It's called Sea Turtle Recovery (STR) and is located inside Turtle Back Zoo.

STR has just released Tabitha, their 50th sea turtle, back into the ocean after rehabilitating her for the past 16 months.

But....they don't have long to celebrate this accomplishment.

You see, this November, STR is preparing to have over 20 threatened and endangered sea turtles arrive at their hospital. They come in cold-stunned and barely clinging to life. That's their 'busy season' and they could use your help.

Cold stunning occurs when sea turtles fail to migrate before water and air temperatures drop dangerously low. Last year between Nov. 13th and Nov. 21st alone, STR saved 13 turtles that were found floating on beached or stranded in our back bays. The Marine Mammal Stranding Center (MMSC) worked with Sea Turtle Recovery to retrieve the sea turtles and bring them to STR's hospital. It was a group effort that continued night and day, but the fear is that this year is going to be the worst yet.

Cold stunned sea turtle, photo from STR
Cold stunned sea turtle, photo from STR

Accordng to STR, last year they had record-setting numbers of live Green Sea Turtles. Based on nesting cycles, it's predicted that there are more juvenile Kemps Ridley Sea Turtles also foraging along our coast this year. If cold ocean currents move south before these sea turtles migrate, it will be devastating.

So STR is asking anyone living along or walking along our coastline and bay areas this fall to please report any sea turtle (dead or alive) to the NOAA hotline by calling 866-755-NOAA, or you can call MMSC at 609-266-0538.

Please don't warm the turtles because this can lead to shock. Immediately report the turtle so that you can get proper instructions on how to prevent further injury to it. Once STR gets the sea turtles, they will begin life-saving measures and treatments.

If you would like to support Sea Turtle Recovery, Turtle Back Zoo will be offering after-hours exclusive admission on Oct. 17th. Tickets for this special evening at the zoo will go to help Sea Turtle Recovery's efforts. CLICK HERE if you would like to get tickets to attend.

Or, to simply donate to Sea Turtle Recovery, CLICK HERE.

Sea Turtle Recover is on Facebook  HERE.

Or on Instagram HERE.

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