SURFIN’ TURTLES: Sea Turtle Inc. releases over 90 turtles

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

A golden glow lit up the sand on Beach Access 3 Wednesday morning as hundreds of people crowded in a horseshoe shape around a line of string suspended over the ground. They had come to witness an event special to South Padre Island: the release of newly hatched Kemp’s ridley sea turtles.

Over 90 hatchlings emerged from what was dubbed “Nest 5” by Sea Turtle Inc. It was the second public release of the season, the first having occurred on Monday.

Kemp’s ridley sea turtles once nested in abundance along the southern Texas and northern Mexican coast, but their population dwindled to near extinction from excessive hunting by humans. Today, habitat loss and marine threats such as shrimp boats still threaten their success.

One of the smallest of the seven turtle species, Kemp’s ridley are also the most endangered. They’re unique in that they come ashore during the daytime to lay their eggs. Other turtle species do so during the night.

Sea Turtle Inc. (STI) has made it a mission to help conserve and restore the species, in part by gathering eggs when nests are discovered and caring for them in a corral until they hatch. Once the hatchlings emerge, staff and volunteers transport them to the beachside and allow them to make their own way to the sudsy surf.

Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.

Permanent link to this article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.