An aquarium in Corpus Christi, Texas, is undertaking a rescue operation to help save hundreds of cold-stunned sea turtles as the state continues to battle freezing temperatures.
Texas State Aquarium said it has received over 900 sea turtles for treatment since February 13, and hundreds more are expected to arrive in the coming days, in what may be one of the aquarium’s most significant conservation effort in its 30-year history.
Sea turtles are cold-blooded creatures which rely on their environment to maintain body temperature, the aquarium explained in a press release. When water and air temperatures drop rapidly they are unable to swim due to the cold.
Cold-stunned turtles require expert medical care, and many of them may have pneumonia and other medical conditions or injuries.
The turtles will go through an intake process where they will be closely inspected by staff to determine injuries, weight, vital signs, and other details which will affect their treatment and release.
“It will take a village to make sure we get through this cold stunning event, and we are very proud to be part of the numerous organizations along the South Texas Coast that are coming together to assist in this major conservation effort,” Jesse Gilbert, the aquarium’s senior vice president and chief operating officer, said in the February 18 release. Credit: Carla Falconi Swallow/Texas State Aquarium via Storyful