[WATCH] Rescued “Cold-Stunned” Sea Turtles Returned To Texas Gulf Waters
As you are well aware, last week's extreme winter weather in Texas wreaked havoc on not only our power and water supply, personal property, pets, and plant life--but our wildlife population, too.
Including some "cold-stunned" green sea turtles.
I don't know about you, but most people I know love sea turtles. Maybe the super cool character of 'Crush' on Disney's Finding Nemo contributed a bit. But even before, there's been something endearing about these creatures for many of us.
(Check out the photo gallery below to get a good look at them during and after the rescue.)
Because of the mild winters experienced around the Gulf of Mexico in the recent past, thousands of sea turtles were delayed in the shallow bays. And outside of last week's extreme low temps, this winter had been relatively mild, too.
And so, the sea turtles didn't receive the "thermal cues" they rely on to know when to move on from the more shallow areas. These are cold-blooded animals who depend "on heat from their environment to maintain body temperature. When water and air temperatures drop rapidly, they become lethargic and unable to swim due to the cold..."
"Many of the sea turtles may have [had] pneumonia, and some could have [had] other medical conditions or injuries from being washed against rocks. Cold stunned turtles require expert medical care," according to a press release from the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi.
Which they were then given, thanks to Aquarium staff and other South Texas Coast non-profit groups. The sea turtles were "closely inspected by staff to determine injuries, weight, vital signs, and other details which [would] affect their treatment and release. Each sea turtle [received] an individualized treatment plan."
What incredible work. And thanks to their work (and the rising temperatures), the sea turtles have been released into the Gulf of Mexico.
The Texas State Aquarium is a non-profit organization that works year round, and especially during tough times like last week, to rescue and rehabilitate animals when needed, and promote education and conservation. They rely on donations from the general public. If you'd like to consider contributing to their beautiful and important work, visit them online here.
Other organizations who contributed to this effort include "NOAA Fisheries, Texas Sealife Center, Texas General Land Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife, U.S. Coast Guard, the Animal Rehabilitation Keep (ARK) at UT Marine Science Institute, Sea World San Antonio, Sea Tow Corpus Christi, and many individual volunteers assisting with walking surveys, turtle transport, and turtle documentation."
Kudos, y'all. Take a look at the sea turtles during and after rescue: