Texans Are Rescuing Cold-Shocked Sea Turtles Stranded on Beaches


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A post shared by Sea Turtle, Inc. (@seaturtleinctx)

Texans are currently facing a brutal cold front and widespread power grid outages. The cold vortex has proved dangerous for both humans and animals—including the sea turtles which reside in the tepid waters of the Gulf of Mexico. These gentle giants are cold blooded and, as a result, they were not able to regulate their body temperatures as the waters chilled this week. The sudden dip has caused hundreds of turtles to go into cold shock—a stunned state of limited mobility. Thankfully, devoted Texans and Sea Turtle, Inc.—an organization dedicated to the rehabilitation and conservation of sea turtles—are organizing to help preserve the lives of these special creatures.

Sea Turtle, Inc. and the community of South Padre Island (and beyond) has united to bring the suffering,  stranded turtles to safety. The frozen turtles are washing up on beaches in the area. As a result, volunteers have been touring the beaches, piling the turtles into their personal vehicles for transport. The turtle saving organization quickly ran out of room to house these new arrivals, so the neighboring South Padre Island Convention Centre and Visitors Bureau stepped in to offer their space. With truckloads of turtles arriving, the Convention Center has quickly filled to house over 3,500 turtles in makeshift pens.

The turtles stand a better chance of survival indoors while the temperatures outside remain unnaturally low. They will hopefully be able to warm up and regain their faculties. Thankfully, the Convention Center's power was restored so that the building's heat system can contribute to keeping the turtles warm. Many lives will be saved because of the quick action of Sea Turtle, Inc. and the volunteers. Sadly, some will likely not recover. The turtles will likely remain inside until this weekend. When the mercury rises to about 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the sea turtles will stand a better chance back in their home waters.

To follow along with the efforts of Sea Turtles, Inc., check out their Instagram, where they post updates and pleas for supplies.

Texans are rallying to save cold-shocked sea turtles washing up on beaches during the cold vortex.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sea Turtle, Inc. (@seaturtleinctx)


The turtles are taken to a local convention center where they can rest in neutral temperatures while their home waters are too cold.


The turtles will hopefully be returned to the water this weekend when the temperatures rise to about 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

h/t: [The Dodo, The Guardian]

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Madeleine Muzdakis

Madeleine Muzdakis is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and a historian of early modern Britain & the Atlantic world. She holds a BA in History and Mathematics from Brown University and an MA in European & Russian Studies from Yale University. Madeleine has worked in archives and museums for years with a particular focus on photography and arts education. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, film photography, and studying law while cuddling with her cat Georgia.
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