People Help Cold Sea Turtles – level 3
People released more than 130 sea turtles into the Gulf Stream, off the North Carolina coast, after they recovered from cold stunning, or hypothermia, brought on by a drastic drop in water temperature.
The US Coast Guard helped the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to launch the rescue operation after a cold snap in North Carolina sent temperatures below freezing in parts of the state. Over a hundred cold-stunned green sea turtles had been found floating or washed ashore.
After spending some time in a rehabilitation facility, people took the turtles 15 to 20 miles offshore to warmer waters where they released them back into the water.
As with other reptiles, sea turtles rely on their external environment to regulate their body temperature. Cold stunning occurs when water temperatures drop below 10° Celsius.
Difficult words: cold stunning (being dangerously cold), hypothermia (having a very low body temperature), launch (to start), cold snap (a sudden, short period of very cold weather), float (to be carried by water), reptile (a cold-blooded animal like turtles and snakes).
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