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Help Us Save the Lives of Thousands of Sea Turtles

Endangered turtles in Texas are at risk due to unprecedented freezing weather.

Feb. 19, 2021 - Texas' unprecedented freezing weather is not only threatening humans—it's also creating an extremely dangerous situation for endangered sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico. 

A sea turtle's body temperature is determined by its environment. Cold stunning happens when turtles are exposed to water cooler than 50 degrees Fahrenheit for extended periods of time. This causes their heart rate and circulation to slow, and the turtles become lethargic and unable to swim. Cold-stunned turtles float to the water’s surface and can wash ashore. If not rescued quickly, they can die of shock, predation or trauma from a boat strike.

Texas' extreme freeze may be the worst cold-stunning event in Texas history, with the lives of thousands of sea turtles in danger. But there is hope for these sea turtles. Volunteers, including our colleagues at the Texas State Aquarium, are racing to save thousands of cold-stunned turtles off the coast. These turtles eventually will be released into the ocean when weather conditions improve.

The ABQ BioPark and New Mexico BioPark Society are donating $2,000 to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) fund to assist in these efforts. We’re donating another $2,000 to the AZA employee assistance fund, which will help animal caregivers during this difficult time. All donations to these funds over the next three days support the effort to save sea turtles. 

You can rescue a cold-stunned turtle by donating here.