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Rescued Sea Turtles Released in Gulf

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SOUTH PADRE ISLAND – Hundreds of sea turtles went into shock due to the very cold temperatures in the Rio Grande Valley a few weekends back.

A crowd of people lined up at Isla Blanca Park where the rescued Atlantic Green Sea Turtles were released back into the Gulf.

“We were releasing the last 50 of our 191 cold-stranded sea turtles,” Kat Lillie said. She is the assistant curator at Sea Turtle Inc. which nursed the turtles back to health.

“When the temperature drops low, those green turtles go into a state of shock. When they go into that state of shock, they’re pretty helpless,” she said.

Dozens of people at the celebration watched as the turtles made their way to the water.

“We released them on the Gulf side. The Gulf is just a little warmer than the bay and it’s very close to the channel, so that gives the turtles the option of migrating back into the Laguna Madre or to migrate south into warmer waters, which is what we’re hoping they do,” Lillie said.

“We love turtles,” the people said. A few even named the turtles.

“Jerry’s leaving. Say bye Jerry,” one man told a group of kids as he guided the turtle headed to the water.

The volunteers said it was a really special event.

“Our volunteers are very passionate about their work. And the ones that volunteered today are the ones that helped pull the turtles off the beach, and the ones that were cleaning the turtles,” Lillie said.

“It’s a thrill to be able to release them. They’re endangered species and they’ve got another chance,” one volunteer said.

All the turtles were released. It was a mission completed.

You can catch Con Mi Gente segments Tuesdays and Thursdays on CHANNEL 5 NEWS THIS MORNING and CHANNEL 5 NEWS at 5. 

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