SeaWorld rescues manatees, turtles after cold snap

Crews at SeaWorld say they've been rescuing animals all over the country because of the cold snap.

"We were running with about 20 people between the turtles and manatees at the same time," says Jon Peterson, who manages a SeaWorld crew. "Unfortunately right now there are some deceased animals from this cold front. It is unfortunate."

As the bitter cold numbs much of the country, rescuers rush to save both manatees and sea turtles, but thanks to SeaWorld, along with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and other organizations, some of the marine life are getting a second chance at life.

"We rescued 10 animals in one trip where if we didn't get them out in one trip the animals would succumb to cold stress.  Cold stress in a manatee is like hypothermia in a human."

Peterson says one manatee had a mild case of cold stress. It was relocated to the Jacksonville Zoo for rehabilitation, as for the rest

"We relocated them from Charleston [South Carolina], all the way down to Melbourne, Florida  -- all in one swoop."

Manatees aren't the only ones getting help.

"Our Texas team has been rescuing cold-stunned turtles non-stop, since this cold front hit. Cold-stunned means the turtles have gone lethargic. They float in the water and can't swim." 

An estimated 2,100 sea turtles off the Texas coast can't swim, because of the cold. They have also been affected in New England.

"So you gotta pick them up gently, put them in the box and put them in warm water. Every animal that comes in, we're gonna give it all to bring it out to their natural environment."

Rescue crews say they're ready to head out Wednedsay, if needed.