Bagheera, the cold-stunned Hawksbill sea turtle, making full recovery at NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island

A happy and healthy Bagheera poses for the camera at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. (Courtesy NC Aquariums/Facebook)

The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island has happily reported that Bagheera, the male Hawksbill sea turtle that has been in their care since late 2023, is making a fantastic recovery following a severe cold-stun case.

Last December, a cold-stunned Bagheera was discovered stranded soundside in Avon with a body temperature of 48°F. Cold-stunning is a condition in which sea turtles become very weak and inactive from exposure to cold temperatures.

Shortly following, Bagheera was transferred to the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center where a team of staff, vets and volunteers have worked tirelessly since to return him to a clean bill of health.

A cold-stunned Bagheera when he was discovered in December 2023. (Courtesy NC Aquariums/Facebook)

According to the STAR Center, Hawksbill sea turtles are the most tropical of all sea turtle species and are usually found in tropical/subtropical waters with coral reefs in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, making “celebrity patient” Bagheera a rarity of sorts.

“Hawksbill sea turtles are uncommon in our area, making Bagheera’s recovery all the more special,” stated the Aquarium in Tuesday Facebook post.

While Bagheera still has some weight to gain as of April 16, 2024, the dedicated team of husbandry staff and veterinarians continue to ensure the right future for him. Hawksbill sea turtles thrive in a tropical to sub-tropical climate, so this has to be taken into consideration when deciding when and where to release Bagheera back into the wild.

The Aquarium will provide future updates as the sea turtle continues to make progress at their official Facebook page, NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island.