Thousands of sea turtles in Texas are in danger due to the uncharacteristically cold weather sweeping the state. Volunteers are taking the “cold-stunned” turtles to shelter.

The thousands of turtles are being stored in a convention center for safekeeping, according to PEOPLE. “This is by far the largest cold-stunning event that we’ve documented in Texas,” Dr. Donna Shaver, Texas Coordinator of the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network, told PEOPLE. “It’s a big deal.”

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Source: Reuters/YouTube

According to the National Park Service. because sea turtles are cold-blooded, they can’t regulate their body temperature. Therefore, when water temperatures creep below 50 degrees, they become hypothermic and cannot swim, the phenomenon called “cold-stunning.”

Turtles that live in Laguna Madre, as well as Corpus Christi Bay, Matagorda Bay, and Galveston Bay in southeast Texas, are all in danger of cold-stunning.

Source: World Animal Awareness Society/YouTube

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Volunteers have helped rescue turtles. One volunteer shared that over 1,000 turtles were saved in a single day!

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“When I first started, I read about how the green turtle numbers were decimated in Texas due to over harvest and freezes during the late 1800s,” Shaver says. “Luckily, as opposed to the 1800s… back then, nobody saved them. So we’ve done what we could to save as many as we can.”

To help sea turtles in Texas, you can donate to Sea Turtle, Inc.

Read more about the current weather in Texas in One Green Planet.

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