The temperature is falling, the leaves are changing, and the first cold-stunned sea turtle has washed up on Cape Cod. Hardy volunteers with our partners at Mass Audubon at Wellfleet Bay have started walking the beaches and recently came across this lively little green sea turtle.

Mass Audubon volunteer with stranded sea turtle on Cape Cod beach
Mass Audubon at Wellfleet Bay volunteer Chuck Dow found the green sea turtle on Rock Harbor beach | Photo: Mass Audubon at Wellfleet Bay's Facebook page

The new turtle arrived this morning and first underwent a physical exam, then x-rays and blood tests. After the exam and diagnostics, the turtle went for a swim where the rescue team assessed its activity level, ability to swim on its own, and behavior. Outwardly this turtle is alert and responsive, but our veterinarians are reviewing the x-rays and will start treatment on any underlying issues right away. 

a rescuer performs intake exam on rescued green sea turtle
Liz conducting an initial physical exam soon after the turtle arrives at the Animal Care Center in Quincy

And as we prepared this post, our partners at Mass Audubon on Cape Cod brought us another green sea turtle. This turtle had lots of algae on its shell. It seemed alert but slow—not surprising for a cold-stunned sea turtle. Results from the physical exam and additional tests are pending. See pictures of our newest arrival below. So the 2016 turtle rescue season is well underway! Stay tuned for more pictures and updates from the rescue team as the season unfolds.