Texas frigid Cold Temperatures Creates Urgency for Wildlife Nonprofit

Sea Turtle Inc., the only sea turtle rehabilitation center in South Texas, activates a search and rescue mission

For immediate release: February 20, 2021 

South Padre Island, TX: Texas experienced a rapid drop in temperatures which put more than 4900 Sea Turtles on South Padre Island in jeopardy. Responding to cold stun events is a critical part of the rescue and rehabilitation efforts at Sea Turtle Inc. Cold Stun events happen when the water gets too cold for sea turtles to maintain their body temperature. As a result, the turtles are awake but unable to move or swim. If not rescued, while they are awake and alive, the turtles will drown from being unable to lift their head to draw their breath. 

Sea Turtle Inc. has jumped into action in the last few days; even with electricity complications, they are leading the efforts in what has now been determined to be the largest cold stun event in recorded history. The community of South Padre Island rallied at a time of urgency. Thousands of community members bundled up and volunteered long hours during these cold winters to rescue sea turtles. Many with no electricity, water, or warmth in their own homes still assisted Sea Turtle Inc. Now the reins have been turned over to Sea Turtle Inc’s dedicated staff for rehabilitation and release of this cold stun. 

In addition to the 4900 cold stun patients, Sea Turtle Inc struggled to take care of its hospital and resident turtles with no electricity to warm the 350,000 gallons of water needed to keep its turtles safe. Staff and spent tireless hours caring for turtles in a football field-sized overflow facility at the South Padre Island Convention Center and Visitors Bureau. “This event had the potential to be devastating to both the Sea Turtle population and our hospital and residents; we prepare for cold stun events, but to respond as efficiently as we have although the additional challenge of no power speaks volumes about the passion and commitment of the Sea Turtle Inc staff and the RGV community,” says Wendy Knight, Executive Director of Sea Turtle Inc. 

The long hours and enormous effort of the last six days is just the beginning for Sea Turtle Inc as they prepare for the coming weeks to care for new patients, expedite the recovery of the residents and address the heating equipment and damages caused to the facility due to the extended time without electricity. 

“Sea Turtle Inc was established based on the passion and dedication of individuals for the Sea Turtle species; we are privileged to have the opportunity regardless of how exhausting to care for and rehabilitate these beautiful creatures,” said Wendy. 

Sea Turtle Inc. has made a call to action for like-minded foundations, businesses, and readers like you to financially support this 2.5 million one-of-a-kind sea turtle clinic. For more information on Sea Turtle Inc.’s efforts or how you can contribute to the efforts, visit www.seaturtleinc.org. 

Media Contact: 

Sea Turtle Inc., Sanjuana Zavala, sanjuana.zavala@seaturtleinc.org

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