Hundreds watch as 140 turtles released to gulf

Sea Turtles

As volunteers walked the green sea turtles to the water they passed slowly in front of folks seeking a closer look and a photo.

Tim Croft
Published: Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 09:18 AM.

The scene at Cape Palms Park last Friday recalled a movie premiere.

Crowds were cordoned off on each side of a central path from the boardwalk to water’s edge.

Hundreds pressed against the restraining tape, cameras ready.

But the stars of this production wore hard shells, 140 green sea turtles and the more endangered Kemp’s Ridley turtles, and instead of red carpet they were carried over sand to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and home.

The turtles were rescued during a cold-stun event the week before, when land temperatures dipped below freezing and the water of St. Joseph Bay dipped.

Turtles, a researcher with Gulf World explained to the crowd, “can not self-regulate their temperature.”

They are cold-blooded and when the surrounding temperatures bring their bodies below 50 degrees they essentially enter a stupor.

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