SAN ANTONIO (KXAN) — This cold winter is causing thousands of sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico to become stunned.
With this week’s cold snap, the SeaWorld San Antonio Rescue Team is traveling to the Padre Island National Seashore area to help rescue cold stunned green sea turtles from the frigid waters.
According to the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network, an estimated 2,100 cold stunned green turtles were documented on the Texas coast in the first week of January — the largest cold stunning event recorded since the nonprofit started documenting the turtles in 1980.
When a sea turtle becomes stunned, it becomes hypothermic and can’t swim. The stunned turtles end up floating to the water’s surface or wash ashore.
If rescued in time, the volunteers work on getting the reptiles temperature up and release them when the water temperature is back above 50 degrees.