BRIGANTINE — After seven green sea turtles were reported stranded on an Ocean County beach in the last two days, officials are asking the public to keep an eye out for the reptiles, but not attempt to rescue them.
The endangered species of turtles often appear dead, as the cold temperatures will slow them until they are unresponsive, according to a news release from the city-based Marine Mammal Stranding Center. But warming the animal quickly could make it go into shock and ultimately lead to its death.
Green sea turtles can only be removed by permit, and the center is one of those permitted organizations, according to the release. For these reasons, the public should not try to rescue the turtles on their own.
Right now, only Long Beach Island has been affected, but the turtles may come into other shore waters, officials said, and could be in any tidal area.
If you spot a stranded green sea turtle, call the Marine Mammal Stranding Center at 609-266-0538.