Thousands of cold-stunned turtles rescued in Texas

Residents of Texas, some of whom lack heating or basic services in their homes due to an unusual winter storm, have been rescuing sea turtles stunned by the cold and taking them to a convention center in a southern resort town. condition.

“Every 15 minutes or less another van comes in,” Ed Caum, executive director of the South Padre Island Convention Center, told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

He pointed out that sometimes there are people who carry one or two sea turtles, sometimes more. “Full trailers arrived, they had 50, 80, 100” turtles, he added.

The local Convention Center began collaborating on Monday after its neighbor, Sea Turtle Inc., could not continue to manage the number of sea turtles brought to it, and its facilities, mostly outdoors, were they were without electricity. Caum noted that the convention center also had no power or water until Wednesday morning.

He commented that, so far, more than 3,500 sea turtles have been “collected”. He said he hesitates to use the word “rescued” because “we know we are going to lose some.”

With another cold front looming, Caum said they don’t know when the sea turtles will be able to return to the water.

The temperature in the region was about 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) on Wednesday afternoon.

Caum said they could return the turtles to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, when the temperature is forecast to exceed 15 ° C (60 ° F).

He noted that after the power returned, they have been able to raise the temperature of the convention center to 15 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit).

“We are trying to do everything possible to save as many turtles as we can,” he added.