Some of the surviving loggerhead turtles were released into the Gulf of Mexico by the Texas State Aquarium.
More than 400 turtles were reported stranded in Texas this year, according to the Padre Island National Seashore. That exceeds the usual norm by more than four times.
Normally, sea turtle releases do not occur in November. But among the hundreds that washed up in unprecedented numbers, some were prepared for release. Of the 27 turtles the Texas State Aquarium is rehabbing, 9 have been released.
The turtles were taken from the Amos Rehabilitation Keep early this year, according to TSA President Jesse Gilbert in an interview with 3NEWS. This year, at least 420 turtles have washed up on Texas beaches as a result of the mass stranding.
“We don’t know why, but they’re coming back and getting better. Once we provide them with food and a brief period of relaxation, they do fairly well.” Gilbert uttered.
About 56% of the stranded sea turtles are found dead, and more die while being treated, according to Dr. Donna Shaver of the Padre Island National Seashore, who spoke to 3NEWS. “We are delighted to see that these were the tenacious survivors. But with all the people, both alive and dead, we hope to gather information to solve this mystery.” Says Shaver.
The Wildlife Rescue Program of the TSA ran out of room for the first time in its history. The Port of Corpus Christi has now enabled the Texas State Aquarium to accommodate roughly 3,000 sea turtles. This is fortunate because the cooler temperatures may result in the need for thousands of sea turtles to be rescued.
They stepped up, so Gilbert said, “We’re extremely thrilled about this initiative, and you would get to see all of this in action this spring when we move into the new Port of Corpus Christi Wildlife Rescue Center.”
The loggerhead turtles’ blood and weight readings are routinely tested by veterinarians, according to Gilbert, and they will be released once they are in good enough health.
Dr. Shaver requests that people call 866-TURTLE-5 to report any sea turtles they come across, whether they are dead or alive so that the turtles can be rescued and analyzed to determine the likely cause.