Thousands of ‘cold-stunned’ sea turtles rescued off coast of Texas

Texas (TIP): The brutal cold snap that has frozen Texas hasn’t only numbed unprepared people to the bone – thousands of turtles have been caught off-guard too. Thousands of sea turtles unused to the plunge in temperatures have been washing up on the beaches of South Padre Island, off the southern coast of Texas. Volunteers have brought some 4,700 of them to a convention centre, where they are being kept in tubs and enclosures before they can be released when the water is warmer.

“It’s an unprecedented event,” said Wendy Knight, executive director of research and conservation centre Sea Turtle Inc, which has been helming the effort. Knight said normally only 100-500 turtles wash up on the beaches in south Texas each winter.

Millions of Texans have been left without heat due to energy blackouts in the state triggered by a cold spell in which both air and water temperatures have dropped well below typical levels. Video shot by Ed Caum, executive director of the South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau, shows volunteers carefully placing the animals on a trolley, and then the convention centre floor covered in turtles of all shapes and sizes.  (Reuters)

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