Continued Cold Weather Results in More Cold-Stunned Sea Turtles - South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Continued Cold Weather Results in More Cold-Stunned Sea Turtles

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It has been a cold December so far for sea turtles near the National Seashore, and officials there say every day they are discovering more and more cold stunned turtles.

"They can't control their body temperature," said Donna Shaver, Chief of Sea Turtle Science and Recovery at the Padre Island National Seashore. "Their temperature will vary with the air and water temperature, and when it's very cold, they become lethargic and just immobilize."
It is a sight that is becoming more common around the Laguna Madre. Every day, teams are going out searching for sea turtles. Once they are rescued, the turtles are taken to the National Seashore, where experts work to save them.
"It's very imperative that we get out and rescue them and bring them into a facility where they can be gradually warmed and rehabilitated, and then released after the temperature is warm," Shaver said.

Shaver said that during the cold week of Thanksgiving, they found 62 cold stunned turtles in Texas. During these past few days, they have had twice as many -- at least 40 turtles a day.

"We are hoping for warmer temperatures soon so that these numbers can slow down," Shaver said.

If you find a cold stunned sea turtle, please call the Padre Island National Seashore at 361-949-8173, or the Animal Rehabilitation Keep in Port Aransas at 361-442-7638.

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