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Sea turtles released following rehab at SPI

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After spending several months in rehabilitation, three Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles were released back into the water at South Padre Island on Monday.

The three turtles, Bubbles, JFK Junior, and Trinny Bug, were sent to Sea Turtle Inc. for rehabilitation in December from the Boston area after experiencing cold weather. Two months later, while at the rehab center, the turtles faced the same conditions during February's winter freeze.

"Turtles regulate their temperature by the weather that they're at," Sanjuana Zavala, the marketing director for Sea Turtle Inc., said. "If it's cold, they get cold. They [go into] a shock, where they cannot breathe, they cannot use their flippers, and they need to come to breathe— they have lunch like you and me. It's very important that when we have cold weather, we take these turtles out of the water immediately, so they don't essentially drown to death."

Monday's sea turtle release was the organization's first since rolling back on COVID-19 restrictions.

The sea turtles are expected to roam and enjoy the gulf coast between South Padre Island and Florida for the next decade.

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