12+ turtles found dead, ‘a mystery’ in a park in Queens, New York, USA

The beloved turtle population at Bowne Park has mysteriously been dying off in recent days, according to city officials.
 
NY1 counted more than a dozen turtles floating dead in the water this week. “And that doesn’t count the ones that park visitors have been fishing out of the water and throwing away,” the news station said.
 
Some residents have speculated the turtles are being killed by litter left in the park.
 
But a spokeswoman for NYC Parks said she doubted trash was the problem. “While litter always negatively affects our city’s natural habitats, we believe that it’s very unlikely that it would cause this pattern and number of deaths,” she said.
 
NYC Parks officials do have a couple other theories, though.
 
Over the winter, Bowne Park’s turtles go into “torpor,” a state of decreased activity similar to hibernation, in order to survive cold weather that kills off their food supply (bugs, plants, etc.) and brings their body temperatures down to dangerous lows.
 
However, because of the unusual warm spell that hit the city near the end of winter this year, an NYC Parks spokeswoman explained, the Bowne Park turtles may have woken up early. And when it got cold again, they might not have been strong enough — or found enough food — to survive.
Courtesy of patch.com
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