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Sea Turtles Freezing In Texas

Thousands of cold-stunned sea turtles being rescued in Texas

Sea turtles can be cold-stunned just like iguanas in Florida. On Sunday, the historic cold weather in Texas caused sea turtles to suffer on South Padre Island in Texas. Sea Turtle Inc., a rehab center there, contacted the public via social media and asked for help because the numbers were becoming overwhelming. By Monday they had over 500 and Wednesday the number had grown too over 3,500. By late Thursday the number was 4,725 sea turtles rescued so far. When sea turtles become cold-stunned after being exposed to cold weather under 60 degrees for long periods, hypothermic reactions can occur and it can lead to death. And another cold front is on its way to Texas.

Original article published February 17, 2021 by the Associated Press
📸: Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald via AP

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas (AP) — Residents, some of whom lack heat or basic amenities in their own homes due to the unusually chilly weather, have been rescuing cold-stunned sea turtles and taking them to a convention center in a South Texas resort town.

“Every 15 minutes or less there’s another truck or SUV that pulls up,” Ed Caum, executive director of the South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau, told The Associated Press on Wednesday. He said sometimes people bring one or two sea turtles, sometimes more. “We had trailers full yesterday coming in that had 80, 100, 50,” he said.

The South Padre Island Convention Center started pitching in Monday when its neighbor, Sea Turtle Inc., could no longer handle the number of sea turtles being dropped off, and their mostly outdoor operation had lost power. He said the convention center itself didn’t have power or water till early Wednesday morning.

He says they’ve “collected” more than 3,500 sea turtles so far. He said he hesitates to use the word rescued because “we know we’re going to lose some.”

Caum said that with another cold front approaching, they don’t know when they’ll be able to return the sea turtles to the water.

See More Including Video [AP]

R/V ANGARI at home port in West Palm Beach, Florida
R/V ANGARI conducts ocean science research in the Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Florida Keys. Photo taken at home port in West Palm Beach, Florida.

ANGARI Foundation Deep Dive featured articles share significant scientific research and marine science news of today. The Foundation operates the oceanographic research vessel R/V ANGARI for charter out of its home port in downtown West Palm Beach in Palm Beach County, Florida with the goal of advancing our understanding of the ocean environment and educating our community.



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