Fifty green sea turtles were recuperating at a Galveston animal hospital Thursday, days after being retrieved from the cold water of Galveston and Matagorda bays.

The turtles being cared for at the Gulf Center for Sea Turtle Research were among thousands of turtles rounded up along the Texas coast.

Teams of animal rescuers searched shorelines around Galveston Bay, Christmas Bay and Matagorda Bay almost every day since Sunday, officials said.

When temperatures drop below freezing, the cold-blooded turtles can be stunned, essentially paralyzed and unable to eat or swim.

At the recovery center, which opened last year, caretakers warm the turtles under damp blankets, feed them and assess them for injuries.

About 70 other turtles rescuers found died, center Director Christopher Marshall said.

“That number is still increasing daily,” Marshall said.

Some of the surviving turtles are on a quick path to recovery, Marshall said. The center could hold a turtle release in Galveston as soon as this weekend.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; or on Twitter @johnwferguson.


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