(Gray News) – Hundreds of cold stunned sea turtles collected during last week’s frigid temperatures in Texas are now being released.
Wildlife officials and rehabilitation groups rescued the floundering creatures from the coastal waters of the Lone Star state.
Video from the Texas Sealife Center in Corpus Christi shows the sea creatures going down a turtle slide into aqua-blue waters and quickly swimming away.
Some 1,200 turtles were released on Monday and Tuesday.
Temperatures in southern Texas last week plunged below freezing, causing the cold-blooded reptiles to become hypothermic.
Texas game wardens near Brownsville plucked 141 cold stunned sea turtles from the frigid waters in the area.
“If water temperatures drop below approximately 50°F, sea turtles become lethargic and are unable to swim. They float up to the surface and become vulnerable to boat strikes or wash ashore and become stranded,” according to the National Park Service.
“If not rescued quickly, these defenseless animals often die of shock, predation, or trauma due to boat strike.”