© Heather Leiphart | The News HeraldA sea turtle comes up for a gulp of air while recovering with 61 others at Gulf World Marine Park on Thursday. โ€œWe were expecting 100 to 300 turtles and are preparing for more,โ€ said Secret Holmes-Douglas, director of animal care. The turtles will be tagged and released into a warmer area of the gulf
Almost 50 endangered sea turtles have arrived at Gulf World Marine Institute in Panama City Beach.

Officials say the turtles were found stranded in shallow bay waters due to frigid temperatures over the past few days.

The News Herald of Panama City ( ) reports the turtles went into a hypothermic state and became very weak because of the cold weather. Many now have developed a secondary illness.

Officials from Gulf World, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Gulf Island National Seashore and University of Florida volunteers have found the turtles and brought them to the marine center for rehabilitation.

Gulf World officials say the turtles are in intensive care. Their body temperatures will be slowly warmed and they'll receive any necessary medicine.

Source: AP