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Texas game wardens save sea turtles from frigid waters

Texas sea turtles.jpg
Posted at 10:44 AM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 11:48:31-05

Texas Game Wardens are rescuing sea turtles from frigid waters in and around the state.

Pictures shared on Twitter shows around 140 sea turtles being moved to a warmer area after being rescued from the extremely cold waters of the Brownsville Ship Channel and surrounding bays on Tuesday.

Texas Parks and Wildlife says that Game Wardens rescued these sea turtles that were stunned by the frigid weather and unable to swim. The sea turtles are taken to rehabilitation facilities to recover and then will be released back into the wild when the weather warms up.

Officials have been picking up stunned sea turtles since February 14, when temperatures began to cause an issue for the animals.

Today Texas Game Wardens helped rescue cold-stunned sea turtles. In severe cold weather, sea turtles become lethargic and are unable to swim. Here's why we help them:

Posted by Texas Parks and Wildlife on Sunday, February 14, 2021

According to the National Park Service, like all reptiles, sea turtles are ectothermic (cold-blooded) and cannot regulate their body temperature. If water temperatures drop below approximately 50°F (10°C), sea turtles become lethargic and are unable to swim. They float up to the surface and become vulnerable to boat strikes or wash ashore and become stranded. If not rescued quickly, these defenseless animals often die of shock, predation, or trauma due to boat strike.

According to reports, more than 3,500 sea turtles have been rescued.

NPS says the number of cold stunned sea turtles that strand varies from year to year depending on the number of turtles in the area and on the number, frequency, duration, and severity of cold weather events.

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