Stunned by the cold, turtles are washing ashore along the North Carolina coast

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Thursday, January 23, 2020
Rescuers are working to save dozens of turtles in North Carolina
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The cold weather has stunned dozens of turtles in North Carolina.

The stretch of cold weather in North Carolina is stunning turtles at the beach.

Nearly 100 turtles have recently washed ashore after floating in frigid waters. The turtles aren't able to handle the temperature drop and that's why volunteers are stepping in to help.

"Essentially their system starts to shut down and they'll end up floating along the surface and washing into the beaches," Lou Browning with Hatteras Island Wildlife Rehabilitation told WTRK. "We have to get them off the shoreside as quickly as possible and into a controlled environment."

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Officials say the mild winter has convinced the turtles to follow the warm trend and head further north.

"They didn't get the memo they need to go farther south before the weather gets bad," Browning said.

The nonprofit group rescued 91 turtles Tuesday as they were surrounded by frost. Chelsea Witherup says the turtles are taken to a stranding center. There, they'll undergo tests to make sure they're OK to be put back in the water.