31 sea turtles being nursed back to health after South Texas snowstorm
Alexandria Rodriguez, Corpus Christi Caller-Times
Residents across the Coastal Bend celebrated the historic snowfall with capturing photos and videos.Monica Lopez/Caller-Times
Friday morning’s snow was not good news for turtles.
Low temperatures in the air and water led to the discovery of 31 cold-stunned Green Sea turtles in the Corpus Christi area on Friday, said Donna Shaver, chief of the Division of Sea Turtle Science and Recovery at the Padre Island National Seashore.
When temperatures drop, turtles become immobilized, causing them to float to the water’s surface.
Turtles were found near the Packery Channel and the Laguna Madre, Shaver said. One also was found in Corpus Christi Bay.
Thirty of the turtles survived and most already are starting to revive, Shaver said. One died.
Once found, the turtles were taken to the Padre Island National Seashore and were tagged and sent off for rehabilitation.
« Most were taken to the Texas State Aquarium and some were taken to the Texas Sealife Center, » Shaver said. « They will reside in rehabilitation until they are healthy. »
When the waters become warm enough, they will be released at the Padre Island National Seashore. Shaver said she expects some turtles will be healthy enough to be released in the next few days.
Although the snow has melted throughout most of the coast, Shaver says she will still be on the lookout for cold stunned turtles throughout the weekend.
« It’s possible there could be more, » she said. « We’re lucky it got warmer today and sunny, it’ll be helpful. »
If you spot a turtle, Shaver said, it’s best to leave them where they are and call the National Seashore’s hotline at 361-949-8173 ext. 226, if you are in the North Padre Island Area. Elsewhere in Texas, call 1-866-TURTLE-5.
The cold stunning season for turtles continues through early March.