Texas State Aquarium Responds to Over Two Hundred Cold-Stunned Sea Turtles
December 27, 2022
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – Since the late hours of Christmas Eve, the Texas State Aquarium Wildlife Rescue Team has admitted 245 cold-stunned green sea turtles to its Wildlife Rescue Program. On December 23, a cold front dropped temperatures in South Texas below freezing. When water and air temperatures drop rapidly in shallow bays and estuaries such as the Laguna Madre, sea turtles become lethargic and unable to swim.
Rescuers have been finding cold-stunned turtles throughout the Laguna Madre and other bays and estuaries over the past few days and have been bringing them to the Aquarium’s Rescue Center for treatment. Padre Island National Seashore, NOAA Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Sealife Center, The Amos Rehabilitation Keep (ARK) and other rescue teams have been working nonstop over the holidays on the intake, documentation, and transportation of the cold-stunned turtles.
Upon the sea turtle’s arrival, the Aquarium’s Wildlife Rescue Team and staff assessed their health and promptly started treatment for cold-stunning. Some of the sea turtles have already regained enough strength to be placed in an emergency rehabilitation pool set up at the Aquarium’s Rescue Center. The rest are being monitored in a warming room until they are ready to go into the rehabilitation pool.
To accommodate the turtles, Aquarium staff created an emergency rehabilitation pool made of a repurposed dam flood control system. These green sea turtles are being housed next to the remaining loggerhead sea turtles that TSA has been caring for since July.
The Aquarium will care for the turtles until they are healthy enough for their release. With temperatures warming up, the majority of the turtles should be ready to be released into the Gulf with just a couple more days of rehabilitation.
For More Information contact:
Carla Swallow, Marketing and Communications Manager