Dozens of Texans recently jumped into action during record-breaking cold to save more than 3,500 sea turtles who had been “cold stunned” by the wintry weather.
Amid record-breaking cold weather and a days-long power outage in Texas, nonprofits, local authorities, and volunteers worked tirelessly to save thousands of defenseless sea turtles from frigid waters and “cold stun,” a condition where sea turtles remain awake but are unable to move when temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Earlier this week, temperatures on the southern Texas coast plunged into the 20s, well below average highs for this time of year, which are usually in the 70s.
The sea turtles were at risk of dying from a loss of mobility. But the nonprofit Sea Turtle, Inc., along with help from local residents, brought hundreds of affected turtles to its facility and placed them in heated tanks.
The next day, the building lost power and. The organization realized staff couldn’t keep the tanks heated and issued an emergency alert on social media.
“We have been so pleased with the community acceptance, but all of these efforts will be in vain if we do not soon get power restored to our facility,” the organization wrote in a Facebook post.
The turtles then transferred to the South Padre Island Convention Center, where they’ll be cared for until it’s safe for them to return to the water. Meanwhile, residents — many without power themselves — continued rescuing turtles, bringing the count up to more than 3,500.
“The love and support of people who just want to help [animals] that can’t help themselves is overwhelming,” Sea Turtle’s Executive Director Wendy Knight told NPR.
SpaceX generously installed a commercial generator, restoring power to Sea Turtle, Inc. Workers are currently assessing the outage’s damage, which includes at least 10 broken tank heaters, ABC 7 reported.
Unfortunately, not all the turtles will fully recover from this incident, Knight said. But she nevertheless expects an “unprecedented” mass release to happen once waters warm sufficiently.
Lady Freethinker applauds the work of Sea Turtle, Inc., local authorities, and all the citizens of Texas who helped save thousands of innocent turtles lives.