Thousands of sea turtles have been rescused in Texas over the last month due to a deadly US winter storm causing them to become stunned by the cold.
Whilst stunned, turtles are at risk of drowning.
To complicate matters further, the storm also left the region without electricity or water for several days, making the rescue effort all the more heroic.
Over 7000 turtles were found both in the water and along the shores. Sadly, many had already died, but thousands more were taken to rehabilitation centres for medical care by staff and volunteers, a network coordinated by Donna Shaver of Padre Island National Seashore.
Whilst many turtles have already been returned to the ocean as they recover and waters warm, many will require long term care following their ordeal.
According to Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine, there are five species of sea turtle that can be found on the Texas coast: Kemp’s ridley, hawksbill, loggerhead, leatherback, and green. All except the loggerhead are endangered, with the loggerhead listed as threatened instead.
Planetary would like to extend thanks to all staff and volunteers, and recognise the following organisations involved in the rescue effort:
Padre Island National Seashore.
Animal Rehabilitation Keep (ARK) at UT Marine Science Institute
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Texas A&M University Galveston Campus
If you would like to support the rescue and rehabilitation of these turtles, many of the links above have relief fund campaigns and Amazon Wish Lists!