Virginia Aquarium names cold-stunned sea turtle patients after Dr. Seuss characters

Posted at 11:37 AM, Dec 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-06 11:37:07-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Virginia Aquarium has received five cold-stunned turtle rehab patients.

The aquarium received the turtles in November. The five turtles are all named after Dr. Seuss characters: “”Lorax,” “Thing 1,”“Thing 2,” “Cindy Lou Who” and “Grinch.”

They posted a Dr. Seuss inspired poem on their Facebook page:

There’s a chill in the air,
the waters are colder.
Some sea turtles left,
while others were bolder.

Below are the five,
we received in November.
All are alive,
And we’re into December.

Sea turtles need protection,
Of that, there’s no doubt.
But the early projection
Means the weather is out.

Named after Seuss,
The turtles will be.
Hoping for less,
We will have to see.

“Cold-stunning” is a hypothermic reaction that happens when sea turtles are exposed to cold water temperatures for long periods of time. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, symptoms of cold stunning include decreased heart rate, decreased circulation, and lethargy, followed by shock, pneumonia and possibly death.

The chances of sea turtles getting cold-stunned rise whenever water temperatures fall below 50 °F.

Already this Fall, coastal regions in the northeast U.S. have rescued turtles stranded on beaches, and there have been several times locally where conditions looked like they could veer in the direction of a prolonged or sudden temperature drop.

If you see any sea turtle in the region, regardless of its condition, call the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Program at (757) 385-7575.