60 Sea Turtles Released Back Into Gulf

Local News

Approximately 60 turtles were cold stunned by the low temperatures this past weekend.

After a few days of rehabilitation, the turtles are all warmed up and ready to go back into ocean.

With a large crowd at South Padre Island, you would think a celebrity moved into town. But this red carpet is rolled out for about 60 sea turtles.

Turtles are reptiles. Their temperature is whatever the environment is like. This past weekend the Rio Grande Valley experienced cold temperatures.The cold stuns them to the point they appear dead.

Kat Lillie, Assistant Curator at Sea Turtle Inc. says, “When they’re in that shock they are just floating helplessly, they can’t do much. So the wind will push them into the bayside areas that are low lying in the mud flap.”

It took many volunteers, experts, and even concerned surfers and fishermen to get these turtles accounted for. With the right guidance these turtles got another chance at life.

“We had 191 turtles wash in and we actually overflowed our facility. We had to have most of the at Sea Turtle Inc. but we also had to move some of them to the UTRGV Coastal Studies Lab,” says Lillie.

These turtles were affected by the cold, and they were released. Many gathered around here and one by one they were taken into the water.

“It is a delicate process,” added Lillie, “you can’t stick a cold turtle into a very hot building. You have to gradually warm them up. It takes usually about two or three days.”

Some were in awe to see these turtles make a comeback. Some of us, got a little carried away by this wildlife encounter.

Visitor Helen Burmeister says, “To see our wildlife being saved, we’re very appreciative.” “One of the things that we really wanted to see was putting our creatures back into the sea again,”comments Dennis Burmeister

Sea turtles face many dangers. But thanks to concerned individuals, this group will have one less thing to worry about.

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