Cold Stunned Sea Turtles Recovering

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND–More than 850 sea turtles were recovered from the recent artic front that hit South Texas with most surviving, while some have died due to cold front.

About 750 turtles, who were pulled out of the Laguna Madre, were returned to the Gulf of Mexico, which is a bit warmer.

Experts said it would be best to return the cold-stunned sea turtles to the water as soon as possible. In the past, they would be kept for weeks at a time to recuperate, but researchers believe they need to be returned.

They also were overwhelmed by the number of sea turtles that were rescued. It’s the largest rescue since they first starting counting in 1980. Better than keeping the turtles on the floor with a blanket, experts said they opted to get them back in the water.

While many survived, about 100 died in the South Padre Island area and another 100 around Corpus Christi from the hypothermia. Researchers said they couldn’t handle the cold water.

On South Padre Island, they still have about 50 sea turtles recovering. They either were suffering from hypothermia or were victims of predators. Researchers said coyotes and sharks bit the sea turtles who were weak from the cold water and they couldn’t get away.

Researchers hope they will recuperate and get better so they can return back to the Laguna Madre or Gulf of Mexico in the near future.

–South Texas Tribune, southtexastribune@gmail.com

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