Volunteers and wildlife rehabilitators have rescued about twenty endangered sea turtles from cold waters and beaches so far this month. Lou Browning is a wildlife rehabilitator on Hatteras Island who's been helping transport turtles stunned by cold waters to veterinarians.
"When the temperature drops quickly, we get a cold that comes through the sound and the water temperature drops dramatically, when it drops below about 56 degrees Fahrenheit, sea turtles have a difficult time and they become lethargic."
Browning says when turtles become lethargic, they have to raise their heads in order to breathe. But if they become too lethargic when they're in the water, they'll drown. After veterinarians treat these turtles, they may spend several months being cared for before they can be released safely.