Texas State Aquarium Releases Remaining Cold-Stunned Sea Turtles
March 23, 2021
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – On Sunday, March 21, the Texas State Aquarium's Wildlife Rescue team released twenty-four cold-stunned sea turtles back into the Gulf.
Thirteen of the twenty-four sea turtles were Kemp’s ridleys that came from New England back in early December and were part of a group transported by Turtles Fly Too. These sea turtles were found on Cape Cod, Massachusetts beaches suffering from hypothermia and other complications. The sea turtles received treatment in our Rescue Center, and after more than 100 days of treatment, they were cleared for release by our veterinary staff.
The Kemp’s ridley sea turtle is listed globally as critically endangered. Its population has been heavily impacted by commercial and recreational fisheries and egg harvesting, which nearly caused its disappearance in the 1980s. The Kemp’s ridley has been making a comeback thanks to binational conservation and nest protection efforts in the U.S. and Mexico.
The eleven remaining were green sea turtles from the Aquarium’s Wildlife Rescue Center admitted during Texas’s extremely cold temperatures during early February’s cold stunning event.
Since their arrival at the Rescue Center, all the cold-stunned sea turtles gradually recovered, achieving a healthy body temperature. The sea turtles received medical care and were closely monitored by our Animal Health team and Wildlife Care Specialists.
The Texas State Aquarium, along with the Texas Sealife Center, The Animal Rehabilitation Keep (ARK) at UT Marine Science Institute, and the Padre Island National Seashore, released the sea turtles at Padre Island National Seashore. Following their release, all the sea turtles entered the surf and swam out into the Gulf of Mexico’s warm waters.
Since the beginning of the year, our Wildlife Rescue operation has released more than 960 sea turtles back to the wild!