Temperatures in eastern North Carolina are warming up after a cold snap, but not soon enough for some sea turtles being found on beaches by concerned residents.
The StarNews of Wilmington reports that at least three loggerheads and 16 green turtles have been found on beaches along the southeast coast, mostly in the Cape Lookout area.
Twelve of the turtles died on Wednesday. Since reptiles can't control their body temperature, sudden drops in water temperature causes them to become lethargic and stop moving, in a reaction called cold-stunning.
Jean Beasley, director of the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Topsail Beach, says the turtles that haven't died yet may be able to recover.