Green turtle

Green turtle
More than 12 dead green sea turtles have washed up on Boca Chica Beach and Isla Blanca Beach in the past three to four days, according to Jeff George, curator of the nonprofit organization Sea Turtle Inc. on South Padre Island.

As of Friday, 15 green sea turtles have been found dead.

"To see that many, with nine in a half-mile stretch of beach alone, is confusing, we don't know what the heck is going on" George said.

At first appearance, George thought they looked to be dead from drowning, perished from cold, but these were fresh dead, and the weather has not been cold enough these past few days to warrant this number of dead turtles.

Although there is no proof as of yet, another possibility is the turtles were killed by illegal gill nets or drag lines, with fishermen taking advantage of the recent foggy conditions to use the deadly devices, George said.

Federal authorities were notified of the deaths and have requested Sea Turtle Inc. to preserve the dead specimens, in order to do a necropsy and determine the cause of death. The National Park Service in Corpus Christi will be conducting the necropsies.

Witnessing this kind of turtle death is especially difficult for George and his team of researchers and interns, who work to rescue, rehabilitate and release injured sea turtles. They endeavor to educate the public and assist with conservation efforts for all marine turtle species.