VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A 66-pound loggerhead sea turtle is the latest one to be entered in the Virginia Aquarium’s rehabilitation program this year.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation senior scientist Chris Moore found the sea turtle, named Iliocostalis, unresponsive on a routine boat trip in the Lynnhaven River. According to the aquarium, it was suffering from cold temperatures and pneumonia and was reported to the Virginia Aquarium’s Stranding Response Program.
The loggerhead sea turtle was found to have a body temperature of just 56.9 degrees Fahrenheit when it was admitted, but has recovered steadily since, receiving food, fluids and antibiotic treatment for pneumonia.
The aquarium said there has been an “unusually high” number of sea turtle strandings reported in Virginia this year, with the latest being the 71st seat turtle admitted into the rehabilitation program.
Of those, 50 have been successfully rehabilitated so far this year, and another nine were released this year that were stranded last year.
The stranding response team experienced a record-breaking hooked sea turtle season in 2022, surpassing 300 total sea turtle strandings for the first time since 2006.
Anyone who sees a sea turtle or marine mammal is asked to immediately report it to the aquarium’s stranding response team at 757-385-7575. It has responded to more than 2,500 marine mammals and more than 4,000 sea turtle strandings since the program began in 1989.