CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Dozens of sea turtles are on their way to recovery after enduring our recent cold snap.
Yesterday afternoon, 91 sea turtles were found cold-stunned in the Laguna Madre.
They were taken to the Texas State Aquarium's Sea Lab where they are now in warmer water and working on getting back to their normal temperatures.
Sea turtles are cold-blooded creatures. Texas State Aquarium Chief Operating Officer Jesse Gilbert said the turtles temperature adjusts to their environment.
"When those temperatures drop low enough, their body functions go into hibernation or a hypothermic mode and they just shut down," Gilbert said, "They could drown. They may not be able to breathe. They could float. They could be hit by boats. They could be picked up by coyotes. All sorts of different things can happen."
Gilbert said they need to save these turtles so their population doesn't dwindle.
Luckily, the turtles that are being kept in a large water tank are doing well. They will release them tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Padre Island National Seashore's Malaquite Beach. The public is invited, although regular admission fees will be charged at PINS.
The Texas State Aquarium said they will keep track of the temperatures and ascertain its impact on sea turtles all week long.
"Hopefully, November is not an indicator of the winter we're going to have," Gilbert said. "If so, we and our partners at the Padre Island National Seashore are ready to go."