Texas has seen historic cold weather with the latest winter storm. Many wild animals are feeling the effect. At least 2,500 cold-stunned sea turtles have been rescued on South Padre Island, Texas. Residents have been rescuing sea turtles and taking them indoors to the South Padre Island Convention Centre to escape from the cold waters in the Gulf of Mexico and transported to warmer facilities for critical care.
According to Texas Monthly magazine, Sea turtles rely on external sources of heat to maintain body temperature. When water temperatures drop into the low 50s, as they did in the shallow waters of the Laguna Madre where sea turtles feed, their heart rates and circulation slow and they become lethargic. “They can’t move their flippers or lift their heads up to draw breath,” said Sanjuana Zavala, marketing director at Sea Turtle. “If you don’t take them out of the water, they’ll essentially drown.”