Cold Stunned Texas Sea Turtles Rescued and Released [WATCH]
When Winter Storm Uri traveled through Texas, sea turtles were at risk of drowning, but luckily one organization saved thousands of lives.
According to a press release from Sea Turtle Inc., when temperatures dropped in Texas last week, thousands of sea turtles lives were at risk.
The sea turtles became cold stunned. When cold stunned, the sea turtles are still alive and awake, but have become so cold that they are unable to move or maintain their body temperature. Becoming cold stunned leaves the sea turtles unable to lift their head to breathe, and eventually they drown.
Thank goodness that Sea Turtle Inc. sprung into action. Even though their facilities were without power, they knew they had to do something to rescue the sea turtles from the icy water and certain death. Sea Turtle Inc. did have an abundance of help as well! The community of South Padre Island rallied together to help. Thousands of community members bundled up and volunteered long hours during the cold to rescue sea turtles. Many with no electricity, water, or warmth in their own homes still assisted with this compassionate mission.
Their efforts to save the sea turtles has been determined to be the largest cold stun event in recorded history.
In addition to the 4900 cold stunned patients, Sea Turtle Inc struggled to take care of its hospital and resident turtles with no electricity to warm the 350,000 gallons of water needed to keep its turtles safe. Staff and volunteers spent tireless hours caring for turtles in a football field-sized overflow facility at the South Padre Island Convention Center and Visitors Bureau.
"This event had the potential to be devastating to both the Sea Turtle population and our hospital and residents; we prepare for cold stun events, but to respond as efficiently as we have although the additional challenge of no power speaks volumes about the passion and commitment of the Sea Turtle Inc staff and the RGV community," says Wendy Knight, Executive Director of Sea Turtle Inc.
When the weather warmed up Sea Turtle Inc. returned the sea turtles to their home. The non-profit organization MRSC, which removes oil spills, donated a boat to use so that the turtles could be returned. One by one the turtles slid down the slides of the boat, back to their home.
Thank you to Sea Turtle Inc, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and the countless volunteers and others who helped rescue the cold-stunned sea turtles.
Last week's storm was rough on humans and animals alike, but Texans came together to show true strength and help others in need, even these precious turtles.
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