VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Chesapeake Bay Foundation Senior Scientist Chris Moore was taking a trip through the Lynnhaven River on Nov. 14 when he came across a sea turtle in need.
A 66-pound loggerhead was found unresponsive and suffering from pneumonia.
With guidance from the Virginia Aquarium's Stranding Response Program, the turtle was recovered and taken to the rehabilitation center.
It's been named Iliocostalis, which is a scientific term for a muscle in the human body.
According to the CBF, Iliocostalis is one of 71 sea turtles this year so far that has been admitted to the aquarium's rehabilitation program.
This year has seen an unusually high number of sea turtle strandings for the Virginia coastline.
Typically, they head south towards warmer waters during the winter months, similar to birds and their migration patterns.
If they don't travel south soon enough, their bodies can go into shock due to the cold temperatures. Iliocostalis was found with a body temperature below 60 degrees.
Fortunately, our sea friend is recovering now and is expected to be okay.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation says that the Virginia Aquarium's Stranding Response Team has experienced a record-breaking hooked sea turtle season by surpassing 300 total sea turtle strandings for the first time since 2006.
If you see a sea turtle or other aquatic animal that may be in danger, please call the aquarium's Stranding Response hotline immediately at 757-385-7575.