CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Just before Christmas Eve, 32 endangered Kemp's Ridley Sea turtles were rescued from harsh conditions and flown from New England to Corpus Christi facilities.
Eleven were sent to the Texas State Aquarium Rescue Center, 10 made it to the Texas Sea Life Center and the rest are at AMOS Rehabilitation Keep in Port Aransas.
Experts say the recovery for these turtles ultimately depends on what resources are available to them.
"We have 11 hospital beds reserved for the Kemp's Ridley from Boston and the rest of the facility which can handle over 1,000 turtles is still ready to go in case something happens in Texas," said Jesse Gilbert, president and CEO of Texas State Aquarium.
Rescued from the beaches of Cape Cod, these turtles were found cold stunned. They were suffering from hypothermia, pneumonia and other injuries from being washed against rocks.
"We've got blood analyzers that you would see in human hospitals," Gilbert said. "So we can pull the blood on the animals and right there bedside at the turtles we can tell where their blood gases are."
The Rescue Center, located 2 miles away from the Texas State Aquarium, has welcomed marine mammals, birds and sea turtles in need for the last 40 years. And they'll soon be able to help even more. Gilbert says a new building for their center should be ready by November.
"You're gonna see the veterinarians, the CT scans all the radiographers, all the surgeries," Gilbert said. "It will all be on public display."
Over in Port Aransas, the AMOS Rehabilitation Keep will be opening a new animal hospital this year along with some remodeling.
"This building that we're standing in is going to be getting a big face lift," Texas State Aquarium program coordinator Alisia Walker said. "We'll be replacing some of the old structure."
Walker says the improvements are in an effort to keep treatment more efficient.
"They're due for their next round of x-rays and we'll see if the antibiotics are working," she said. "If there not, we'll change it up to a different one."
There is no anticipated date on when they will be fully recovered but, once they're ready all 32 sea turtles will be released back into the Gulf of Mexico.