MANTEO, N.C. (WTVD) -- A popular part of the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is closed to the public because of a large number of sick sea turtles.
The STAR Center turtle hospital at the aquarium on the Outer Banks is treating 120 sea turtles after they washed up on Hatteras Island because of chilly ocean temperatures.
The turtles are suffering from cold-stunning, a condition similar to hypothermia that is caused by dropping water temperatures.
It renders the turtles unable to swim properly.
The recovery process begins by gradually warming the turtles back up over the course of a few days.
Several volunteer organizations are searching beaches for the turtles.
They are initially taken to a staging area in Buxton and then to the turtle hospital.
The turtles are given fluids with calcium and vitamins to help in their recovery.
The turtle hospital is normally open to the public.
The rest of the aquarium remains open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.