By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Several local agencies sprang into action this week as temperatures began to drop. Staff and volunteers from Sea Turtle Inc. (STI), Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and even local residents, all pitched in as over 170 cold-stunned Atlantic green sea turtles were rescued from local waters and beaches.
“We’re actually still processing turtles. We’re still getting some calls here and there in Port Isabel,” said STI spokesperson Sanjuana Zavala Wednesday evening. At the time, 172 turtles were in the South Padre Island non-profit’s facility being attended to by dedicated STI staff and volunteers.
Though the cold weather moved into the region over the New Year holiday weekend, it wasn’t until water temperatures in the Laguna Madre began to fall, too, that STI began to get the first calls. On Tuesday, only a handful of turtles had been brought in, mostly by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) officials.
“We have five that came in,” Zavala said Tuesday afternoon. “We’re expecting a little bit more,” she said.
A little bit more turned out to be an understatement.
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