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Full Story Here: http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/30/travel/emotional-support-pig-booted-flight/index.html
Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-humber-30148284
The count of recovered cold-stunned turtles was more than 500 on Friday, well past the 2012 record of 413.
WELLFLEET – Seated on the hard concrete floor of the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary’s maintenance barn, veterinarian Kelly Sattman lifted turtle No. 491 to eye level.
She pressed a small speaker that looked like an old transistor radio up to one ear while holding a sensor to the turtle’s neck.
Sattman tried to parse out the heartbeat from the white noise crackling from the speaker, and the roar of a heater struggling to keep the barn, set up as a turtle triage center on Friday, at 55 degrees.
“Any time buddy,” she urged. “Show them that you’re living.”
The count of recovered cold-stunned turtles was 520 on Friday, well past the 2012 record of 413. With survival rates at 80 percent, the sheer numbers of this year’s strandings taxed Audubon sanctuary staff and volunteers and overwhelmed the capacity of the New England Aquarium’s Quincy Animal Care Center, which can handle 70 turtles comfortably, and 120 in a pinch.
On Thursday, the aquarium was able to transport 20 turtles from Quincy to the National Marine Life Center in Buzzards Bay and another 31 were flown to a turtle rehab hospital in Georgia and to the South Carolina Aquarium. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fisheries staff were also working to arrange air transport for those animals that had been stabilized.
The Quincy facility took 70 Friday, but with hundreds sitting in crates awaiting transport and treatment, the aquarium sent veterinarian Leslie Neville to Wellfleet Friday to begin treatment.
The metabolism of hypothermic sea turtles can be so depressed that their heartbeat slows to as low as one beat per hour.
It can be hard to tell the dead from the living, but No. 491, a 5-pound Kemp’s ridley taken off Cold Storage Beach in Truro on Thursday, had a heart that was virtually racing at 12 beats per minute. He, or she, (it’s hard to tell the sex of juveniles) was returned to a towel-lined banana crate, then loaded into volunteer driver Dave Horton’s car for the trip to Quincy.
Cotuit artist Anne Boucher had just delivered a painting to Provincetown on Tuesday when she heard about the turtle strandings and decided she’d stop by the Wellfleet Audubon sanctuary to help out. She never left, renting a room at an Eastham hotel, walking beaches from Wellfleet to Provincetown day and night. Friday morning, she pulled up at the front door of the sanctuary with a car filled with 17 turtles on front and back seats and in the trunk.
“When I was just on the beach, I was aware that if I stayed another 10 minutes there would probably be 10 more turtles,” Boucher said.
By the late afternoon, aquarium and Audubon staffs were setting up kiddie pools, filling them with water to rehydrate and gradually warm up the turtles. Sattman and Neville recorded statistics like heartbeat and weight that would help speed the process when the turtles reached Quincy.
At Sattman’s feet was a cardboard box of the not-so-fortunate sea turtles that had died. They were awaiting transport to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where they would eventually be necropsied to study what factors may have contributed to their demise.
Unfortunately, the 278-pound loggerhead that was recovered off Cole Road Beach in Eastham Thursday died at the Quincy facility. It was the largest loggerhead to ever come ashore during one of these stranding events.
Aquarium spokesman Tony LaCasse said it was likely there were some underlying issues - disease, a gastric blockage due to plastic, or something else other than the cold that contributed to this huge animal washing up. Its vital signs were viable, he said.
“We’ll do a necropsy at a later time,” LaCasse said.
Read more: http://www.capecodonline.com/article/20141122/NEWS/141129807/1000/FRONTPAGE/?Start=1
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