Padre Island National Seashore needs your help spotting cold-stunned sea turtles

Meagan Falcon
Corpus Christi Caller Times

The Padre Island National Seashore is seeking the public's help in reporting cold stunned sea turtles during the inclement weather.

The national park's Division of Sea Turtle Science and Recovery asked the community in a Facebook post on Tuesday to alert the agency of any cold stunned turtles in its bays, channels, or passes by calling 1-866-887-8535 (TURTLE5) option 6.

Kara Klaustermeier of the Texas State Aquarium releases a green sea turtle at the Padre Island National Seashore on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021.

Tuesday afternoon, the agency reported it had safely recovered about 400 cold stunned sea turtles in the Coastal Bend over the past few days thanks to the help of citizens, local businesses and state and federal agencies.

When exposed to unusually cold water temperatures for an extended period, sea turtles will exhibit a hypothermic reaction that may include a lower heart rate, decreased circulation and lethargy, followed by shock, pneumonia and, sometimes, death, according to www.seaturtles.org.

Donna Shaver, chief of the Division of Sea Turtle Science and Recovery, hands off a green sea turtle before it's released on the Padre Island National Seashore on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021.

In late January, The Texas State Aquarium and the Padre Island National Seashore teamed up to release seven sea turtles into the Gulf of Mexico that were cold stunned from a cold snap in December.

The national park asks residents on the upper Laguna Madre/Corpus Christi Bay to call 361-949-8173 ext. 226. The after-hours number is 361-876-8462.

The Padre Island National Seashore Division of Sea Turtle Science and Recovery will provide further directions to individuals after they receive the report, the post states.

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Meagan Falcon covers entertainment, things to do and trending news. Support more coverage like this by checking out our subscription options and special offers at Caller.com/subscribe