Marine wildlife experts say that the recent cold snap has placed migrating sea turtles at risk, and that some of the species could wash up on New Jersey beaches.
But the experts also warn beachgoers not to assume that a turtle they find on the beach is dead, as some could actually just be “cold-stunned.”
The cold-blooded animals, suited for water temperatures between 75 degrees and 85 degrees, are susceptible to being stunned in cold water as they migrate south before winter sets in.
The nonprofit Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine has received reports of what appears to be frozen sea turtles along New Jersey beaches. The center is urging beachcombers to contact them if the encounter any animals that appear to be dead so that experts can respond and provide emergency care, if warranted.
on WHYY, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.