Freezing locals step up to save sea turtles
Residents, some of whom lack heat or basic amenities in their own homes due to the unusually chilly weather, have been rescuing cold-stunned sea turtles and taking them to a convention center in a South Texas resort town.
“Every 15 minutes or less there’s another truck or SUV that pulls up,” said Ed Caum, executive director of the South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau.
He said sometimes local people bring one or two sea turtles, sometimes more: “We had trailers full yesterday coming in that had 80, 100, 50.”
The South Padre Island Convention Center started pitching in Monday when its neighbor, Sea Turtle, could no longer handle the number of sea turtles being dropped off, and their mostly outdoor operation had lost power due to the unusual snowstorm sweeping across the state.
Caum said the convention center didn’t have power or water early on Wednesday.
He said the center “collected” more than 3,500 sea turtles so far.
Caum added that with another cold front approaching, they don’t know when they’ll be able to return the sea turtles to the water.
He said it might be on Saturday when temperatures are expected to be above 15 degrees Celsius.