A new coastal rescue facility has opened in Corpus Christi, Texas, and it is providing safe haven for endangered sea turtles and other forms of marine animals.
Sea turtles, manatees, dolphins, birds, and other creatures who are in danger as a result of abnormal weather patterns are brought to the Port of Corpus Christi Center at the Texas State Aquarium, where they are treated for their injuries and then returned to the wild after undergoing rehabilitation.
The 26,000-square-foot hospital, which opened in March, is the largest sea turtle rescue center in the United States. It employs a unique CT scanner that is devoted just to wildlife in order to take photographs of the creatures that have been saved.
It has already responded to many instances of cold-stunning, which is a sudden and protracted dip in air and water temperatures that immobilizes sea turtles in shallow areas and prevents them from reaching warmer water.
Threatened by cold water occurrences, endangered sea turtles are rescued by a Texas aquarium.
This phenomenon has occurred multiple times. In the same way as other reptiles, sea turtles are restricted in the degree to which they may regulate and control the temperature of their inner bodies.
According to the lead veterinarian at the wildlife center, Dr. Carrie Ullmer, a young Kemp’s ridley sea turtle was one of five saved in January from a cold-stunning incident in New England.
The sea turtle was recuperating from pneumonia at the time of its rescue. According to the National Park Service, the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle is the most endangered species of sea turtle in the world despite being the smallest type of sea turtle in the world.
Ullmer highlighted how cold-stunned sea turtles experience dangerously low cardiac and respiratory rates in addition to a significant slowing of their metabolisms when they experience an occurrence known as cold-stunned.
Ullmer prepared one of the rescue turtles so that the CT scan could look for a repeat of any abnormalities that had previously been found. The turtle was placed on a little tray, and a scanner was positioned over him while he laid there.
According to Ulmer, “Since our patients are not actually moving while the CT scan is being performed, we find that they are able to tolerate that very well.” It will become clear, as you will see, that in the case of some of these turtles, we do not even need to anesthetize or sedate them in order to carry out the scan.
Later on same day, a young green sea turtle that had been rescued from the seas of South Texas during a cold-stunned occurrence that occurred in December 2022 was reintroduced into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico at Laguna Madre.
According to wildlife care specialist Giovanna Pena, the green sea turtle had totally healed in the span of four months and was now prepared to search for algae, seagrasses, and other types of plants in its natural habitat.