A severe cold snap in the winter of 2020 stunned a great many Florida sea turtles and on this day, January 16, 2020, the sea turtles that had been cared for at the Gulf Marine Specimen Lab in Panacea, Florida were released into the Gulf at Dr. Julian G. Bruce Saint George Island State Park. Their paparazzi was out in full force.
In one of my bay side rambles on SGI I happened upon a cold-stunned Kemp’s-Ridley. I’ve misplaced the photos I took while waiting for instruction from the state (It is illegal to touch or interfere with sea turtles.) My cell number threw their emergency system for a loop, my signal was weak, I was on a barrier island of dirt roads and I didn’t know the names of the roads. (Yeah, I know. I now take a photo of all crossroads wherever I ‘put in’.) I thought it was going to die, it was certainly stressed. As the sun set I was given the instruction to hike out with the turtle. That was tough but I’d do it again. A Kemp’s Ridley is so soft to the touch. She lived and was released. I need to search for those photos.