BY NATASHA DALY / National Geographic

Source: National Geographic

As bone-chilling temperatures killed power and froze water pipes in homes on Texas’s South Padre Island, in the Gulf of Mexico, residents embarked on an all-out rescue mission: saving freezing sea turtles.

At least 4,900 of them.

It’s the largest cold-stunning event documented in the United States since the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, started keeping records in 1980, says agency coordinator Donna Shaver. Across the state, more than 7,000 cold-stunned turtles have been recorded, she says. 

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