Since early December SeaWorld Rescue Teams working alongside partner agencies say they have relocated 14 manatees from South Carolina to Florida, and rescued more than 200 sea turtles, including some endangered species, from frigid Texas waters.
According to SeaWorld, two dozen cold- stunned turtles from New England were recently flown south for additional rehabilitation.
Rescue teams say they are preparing for more calls in the days ahead.
Last winter, the SeaWorld Orlando rescue team says it assisted in 38 cold-related rescues the entire season.
An estimated 2,100 cold stunned green turtles were documented on the Texas coast in the first week of January, according to the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network.
This marks the largest cold stunning event recorded since the network was established in 1980.
Colder temperatures can isolate animals from adequate food sources, in the case of manatees in South Carolina, and “stun” sea turtles into a vulnerable, comatose state in the case of turtles in New England and the Texas Gulf Coast.
Rescue team members, including veterinarians, conduct health examinations on rescued animals to determine next steps.
However, officials say the goal is always to provide a stable environment for the animals to regain their strength, and ultimately be returned as soon as possible.