Friday, January 19, 2024

Today it's ALL about the sea turtles! 🐢

Sea Turtle Inc. rescued 950+ turtles this week, the second highest number of cold-stunned sea turtles ever rescued during a cold spell. They were mostly, if not all, rescued from the bay side. The sea takes a long time to change temperatures. Since we've been here its been in the mid to upper 60's. The bay side, however, is more easily affected by the air temperature changes. When the water temperature gets too cold the turtles are basicly stunned and can't move or swim. Without prompt attention they can die.

What a community effort! Local boats go search the waters and volunteers comb the edges of the bay rescuing stranded turtles. They ranged from babies to the largest one being 400 pounds. Sea Turtle Inc. numbers, microchips, does lab tests, and even x-rays patients if needed. They warm the turtles and provide any medical treatment they made need. Their education building was closed to the public this week because it,  their offices, the gift shop and even the bathrooms were full of sea turtles. On Tuesday they were at capacity so UTRVG Coastal Studies Laboratory, located in our park, closed their building to the public and offered space, housing over 100 turtles.

The goal is to return them to their home as soon as possible. Friday morning the turtles had their final checks which included a "swimming test" and in the afternoon they released over 700 turtles to the gulf, the largest release number they've ever done. 

We weren't sure if we were going. The release was at 1:00, it was windy, cold and misting this morning, Pat had a doctor's appt. at 3:00 an hour away, and I had hurt my knee so walking hadn't been easy. This is billed as a once in a life-time event so... It was so exciting, I'm so glad we made it! It ranks up there with one of the coolest things I've seen. There were so many trucks and SUVs transporting the turtles back "home". On the first truck one turtle had his head peaking over the truck bed and most had their flippers going before they even hit the water.

Sea Turtle Inc. will be closed for a couple more days, something about turtle 💩, lol. We went there 4 years ago, but when they open next week we will try to get there again.

Not overly cold, but that wind!

Bianca has a degree in Marine Biology and is really enthusiastic about turtles.

Despite the chilly afternoon the staff and volunteers were mostly barefoot and ready to help the turtles into the ocean. 

Where are the Piepers now?  South Padre Island, TX

No comments:

Post a Comment