Volunteers trying to save the lives of 500 rescued sea turtles
Sat, 05 Feb 2011 16:21:20 GMT —
A staggering number of sea turtles washed ashore on Thursday and Friday due to freezing waters out in the Gulf of Mexico and Laguna Madre.
Sea turtles weighing anywhere from 20 to 65 pounds were rescued from bays everywhere from Boca Chica Beach to South Padre Island.
Wildlife experts said the sea turtles are reptiles and therefore cold-blooded.
The freezing temperatures caused the seat turtles to freeze up making them unable to swim on their own.
The sea turtles drifted in the water until the current and tides pushed the on shore.
Hundreds of the stranded animals were able to survive thanks to volunteers like Bridgette Hagerty.
"The resources of this area are what make it so special and that's why we come here," said Hagerty. "Because of the wonderful wildlife and the beautiful water and anything that we could do to help preserve that and save it is something we want to do."
The Wisconsin native, along with dozens of volunteers, worked hard to save as many sea turtles as possible.
Many of the sea turtles rescued over the past two days were Kemp Ridley Sea Turtles, an endangered species facing extinction.
Once taken from water, the sea turtles made their way to different rescue facilities like the Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Refuge.
Action 4 News spokes to Laguna Atascosa wildlife biologist Jody Mays.
Mays said she and her staff have been working around the clock since Thursday to save the over one hundred sea turtles they've received at the refuge.
"We don't have that many containers so what were doing at this point is misting them with a spray bottle it helps keep them moist," said Mays.
The rescuer said that usually by the time turtles are rescued they've been in the cold water for too long and that makes it very difficult for them to survive.
Although rescuers are hoping to save the over 500 rescued turtles they told Action 4 News that up to half of them may not make it.
Hagerty is staying more optimistic.
"These turtles...most of them are going to be alright," Hagerty said. "The worrisome part is all the thousands of them in the Laguna Madre that aren't going to survive the cold temperatures tonight."
Sea Turtle Inc is asked the public to donate kiddie pools to help save the turtles' lives.
Anyone who wishes to volunteer or provide donations is asked to call Sea Turtle Inc at (956) 761-4511.