Crews continue to rescue cold stunned sea turtles in the area before freeze
Meagan Falcon, Corpus Christi
As temperatures drop, crews with the National Park Service are working hard to save the lives of cold-stunned sea turtles.
Donna Shaver with the National Park Service said that as of 1 p.m. Tuesday, crews have found 41 live, cold-stunned sea turtles in the coastal waters.
« We have been on the lookout for cold-stunned turtles since early December, » she said. « We are continuing to search and rescue these animals so that they may be immediately rehabilitated. »
When temperatures drop in the area, Shaver said, sea turtles that are in the shallow waters become incapacitated and will float to the surface stunned.
If not rescued, the turtles’ lives can be in danger.
« The green back turtles are a threatened species and, despite their numbers growing, we are now seeing their breed cold-stunned every year, » Shaver said. « They can be attacked by predators and even be hit by boats that are in the water. »
« Our teams are working so hard right now, » Shaver said. « Some of them are out in the water on boats, where the wind chill is frigid, while others are walking along the shoreline in search of the turtles. We appreciate all of them. »
Once the turtles are rescued by teams, they are sent to rehabilitation. After receiving treatment, they will be released into the Gulf Stream where waters are deeper and warmer.
« When we find live cold-stunned sea turtles in the water, there is a good chance that they will survive, » Shaver said.