Texas – An incredible 203 cold-stunned sea turtles were documented and rescued along the Texas coast on Wednesday, including more than 50 in Corpus Christi’s Packery Channel, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Sea turtles become cold-stunned, rendering them unable to swim, when water temperatures drop to about 50 degrees or below.
KSAT Meteorologist Justin Horne confirmed an arctic front dropped water temperatures well below average for November.
Sea turtles are cold blooded and can’t regulate their body temperature and when they are cold-stunned “they float up to the surface, and become vulnerable to boat strikes,” according to the National Parks Service.
The Padre Island National Seashore Division of Sea Turtle Science and Recovery warned that more turtles could be found Thursday and cautioned boaters to look out for floating, lethargic sea turtles.
Cold-stunned turtles might wash ashore or become stranded, often dying of exposure or predation, if they’re not rescued quickly.
The turtles are released back into the waters along the coast once they have recovered and water temperatures increase.
More information about cold-stunned sea turtles can be found here.