Texas State Aquarium to Release Sea Turtles at Padre Island National Seashore on January 7

January 10, 2018

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – On Sunday, January 7 at 12:00 p.m., the Texas State Aquarium’s Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Center will release nearly 200 rehabilitated green sea turtles back into their natural habitat at Malaquite Beach on Padre Island National Seashore in Corpus Christi, Texas. Padre Island National Seashore, Texas Sea Life Center, and ARK staff and volunteers will also participate in the release.

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – On Sunday, January 7 at 12:00 p.m., the Texas State Aquarium’s Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Center will release nearly 200 rehabilitated green sea turtles back into their natural habitat at Malaquite Beach on Padre Island National Seashore in Corpus Christi, Texas. Padre Island National Seashore, Texas Sea Life Center, and ARK staff and volunteers will also participate in the release.

Members of the public are invited to come watch the release. Park entrance fees will be waived for people attending the release.

The green sea turtles were brought into the Texas State Aquarium’s Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Center in early January at the request of the Padre Island NS Division of Sea Turtle Science & Recovery. In less than a week’s time, more than 700 sea turtles were taken in by the Aquarium’s in-house wildlife rehabilitation team. Many of the turtles had suffered cold-stunning during the recent cold front, a hypothermic reaction that sea turtles can develop when exposed to a sudden drop in water temperature. Cold-stunned turtles are unable to swim and can develop symptoms including decreased heart rate, low blood circulation, and pneumonia. If they do not receive treatment, cold-stunned sea turtles can be susceptible to drowning, infections, predation, or boat strikes. As of January 6, the cold-stunning event has affected over 2,000 sea turtles in the state, making it the largest cold-stunning event in recorded Texas history.

Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Staff worked around the clock to monitor the treatment of hundreds of sea turtles affected by cold-stunning. They were able to warm the sea turtles to raise their body temperature and provided them with additional medical care. On Friday, more than 200 sea turtles were released offshore with the assistance of the U.S. Coast Guard on Friday night, and on Saturday morning, around 250 sea turtles were released at Malaquite Beach. Now approximately 200 additional sea turtles have recovered and are ready to be released into their natural habitat in the Gulf of Mexico. The Aquarium will continue to treat many more cold-stunned sea turtles and release them as soon as they have fully recovered.

The Texas State Aquarium is asking the public to take watch for cold-stunned turtles on the beach, especially during colder days. If you locate a stranded turtle, do not attempt to touch or handle it, but call 1-866-TURTLE-5 to notify wildlife rescuers who can pick up the turtle and arrange for its treatment.

What: Photo/video/interview opportunity: Release of sea turtles

When: Sunday, January 7 at 12:00 p.m

Where: Malaquite Beach on Padre Island National Seashore, Malaquite Visitor Center

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