Out of the 191 sea turtles that washed up to shore this past weekend, Sea Turtle Inc. released about 50 Atlantic green sea turtles back to their habitat Thursday at Isla Blanca Park on South Padre Island.
The sea turtles were found on the Laguna Madre, Boca Chica beach, Dolphin Cove, GaymenBridge in Port Isabel and the Arroyo Colorado, officials said.
Hundreds of people showed up to Thursday’s turtle release. Many took video and photos of the event. Some even took selfies with the sea turtles as they were being carried to the waters for release.
“The bay temperature dropped very quickly with the recent cold front, and so they went to into a state of shock due to cold,” Assistant Curator Kat Lillie said. “When they go into that shock they can’t swim, and so the wind pushes basically them onto a lower mud flat on shore area and they just basically sit there and wait to be rescued. They really are helpless when they’re in that state.”
Of the 191 sea turtles, most of them were released Wednesday and the rest were released back in the Gulf on Thursday.
“There are a few that have additional injuries, (and) they might stay for a little while longer,” Lillie said.