On Wednesday, December 8th, we had an unexpected visitor at First Landing State Park – Evergreen, a juvenile green sea turtle.
Evergreen was swimming in waters too far north for this time of year. Apparently, she was stunned by the sudden change in the water temperature. She was lying on our shore off the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia Beachand appeared to be dead. Actually, she was slipping into a cold-stun coma. Her temperature, usually an average of 77°, had dropped to 43°. Had she not been discovered by a park visitor, she might have died of hypothermia.
The Virginia Aquarium’s stranding center receiving lots of loving care. She is on antibiotics to prevent pneumonia, eating her greens (bok choy and romaine lettuce) and swimming in nice warm water. Christina Trapani, Virginia Aquarium Assistant Stranding Response Team Coordinator, predicts Evergreen will spend several months at the center and be released into warmer water at a later date.
Let’s hope that Evergreen is feeling better and swimming in warmer waters soon!