People Join Efforts to Saves Lives of Cold-Stunned Sea Turtles from the Winter Storm in Texas
Volunteers on South Padre Island have been working tirelessly to save as many turtles as possible.
Turtles are cold-blooded animals, which is why they cannot regulate their internal temperature. So due to the freezing weather in recent days, they have been practically paralyzed.
Since they cannot move or swim properly, they are at risk of drowning. To avoid this tragedy, a large number of volunteers have traveled the coast to take the turtles in their cars to a safe place.
The South Padre Island Convention Center and Visitors Bureau is serving as a temporary shelter as weather conditions improve. In the shared images, you can see the place full of shells.
One person tweeted an image of her mother’s car, a retired person who spends the winter volunteering in central Texas. In the photo, you can see the back of the car full of turtles ready to go to the refuge.
Right now our coastal communities are being inundated with cold stunned sea turtles due to winter weather. Our friends at @seaturtleinctx in Texas have been working tirelessly against the extreme weather conditions to save 1,700+ sea turtles.— TIRN (@SeaTurtles_org) February 16, 2021
#TurtleTuesday 🐢 pic.twitter.com/GRjbfubYCE
OUT OF PLACE
The South Padre Island Convention Center and Visitors Bureau has become a haven for turtles since its neighbor, Sea Turtle Inc., reached its full capacity to receive the freezing animals.
Ed Caum, executive director of the South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau, spoke to the press and explained that they are collecting the turtles, which are about 3,500, and fear for the next cold front that is approaching.
On the Texas coast, we're working with partners and volunteers across the state to save thousands of these sea turtles. Once area waters have risen to safe temperatures and the individual turtles have recovered from hypothermia, they will be released back into the wild. USFWS pic.twitter.com/NREgFFs63v— U.S. Fish and Wildlife (@USFWS) February 16, 2021
THEY DO THEIR BEST
Due to weather conditions that do not appear to improve, Caum said they have no idea when they can return the turtles and release them into the Gulf. Having recovered the electrical energy, they have been able to maintain the temperature of the place at 60 ° F.
Local residents have brought the cold-stunned turtles to the resort, and some of them do not have heating or basic amenities in their own homes. Some people carry one or two turtles, while others have carried dozens.
Texas Game Wardens assigned to Cameron county rescued 141 sea turtles from the frigid waters of the Brownsville Ship Channel and surrounding bays. The sea turtles were transported via the PV Murchison, operated by Sgt. Game Warden Duke and B/M Bowers-Vest. pic.twitter.com/LqFBrElTog— Texas Game Warden (@TexasGameWarden) February 17, 2021
Wendy Knight, executive director of research and conservation center Sea Turtle Inc, said this event is unprecedented. They regularly receive between 100 and 500 turtles during the winter.
Due to these extreme weather conditions, Sea Turtle Inc. has counted about 4,700 turtles that volunteer residents have taken to its facilities, which were already full, and to the convention center.
No heat, no power, a world wide pandemic and Texans still take a moment to try and save the thousands of sea turtles from drowning. #Respect— Carlos Torres (@CarlosOGTorres) February 18, 2021
Thoughts go out to Texas and everyone else struggling to stay warm, fed and safe pic.twitter.com/R5RNaDuDvu
The low temperatures that have hit Texas in recent days have taken humans by surprise, as many are not prepared to cope with the cold and its consequences.
Power outages and problems with the water supply have put millions of inhabitants in vulnerable situations, considering that the air and water have reached unusually low temperatures.